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Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs…

Snowflake Bentley (original 1998; edition 2009)

by Jacqueline Briggs Martin, Mary Azarian (Illustrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,245866,363 (4.13)11
Great text to use for teaching INFERRING. "When Willie was seventeen his parents spent their savings and bought the camera". ( )
  AnikaWalker | Dec 6, 2011 |
Showing 1-25 of 86 (next | show all)
This is a story of Wilson Bentley, also known as "Snowflake Bentley." Since childhood he was interested to know everything there to know about snowflakes. It gives an interesting look in the mind of a scientist. They are curious about the world around them. "From his boyhood he studied all forms of moisture." A turning point came in his studies when he got his first camera. Now he could photograph the snowflakes, which gave him a longer time to study them. Through his experiments he found interesting facts about snowflakes like no two snowflakes are similar.
An insightful story, that shows Bentley's passion. People laughed at him for his ideas but he didn't care. It must have taken a lot of courage to keep up with his work in the face of other people's derision. Also he went to great lengths to collect data. He would stood in blizzards year after year to catch the perfect snowflake. However this shows his perseverance. Although he died a poor, misunderstood man, he was honored after his death when a monument and a museum were built in his honor.
This informational picture book is a good read. The story flows without any interruption and the illustrations support the text. There are side bars throughout the book, that give in-depth information about his work. The last page has a quote from Wilson Bentley. There are also a pictures of him with his camera as well as the pictures of three snowflakes. The beauty and the intricate design of the snowflakes is indeed stunning. ( )
  nmathur | Feb 7, 2015 |
Summary: This is a lovely book about a man and his passion for snowflakes. It describes Wilson Bentley's lifelong quest to share the beauty of nature with the world. The illustrations are lovely and help the reader connect to the story being told..

Reflection: In a world where so many people are defined by what they do, I found this book very refreshing. I love how it not only shares Bentley's passions, but also told the story of who he was as a person. It's a great example to children to follow your heart and never give up on your dreams.

Extension Ideas:
1. Create "snow" in the classroom and discuss how snow is formed
2. Invite a local meteorologist to come to class to discuss the weather or a local photographer to discuss the art of taking pictures
3. Allow children to take pictures of something they love and bring them into class to share with their classmates.
  jn925584 | Jan 30, 2015 |
What is "biography?" Yes, it is the story of at least some facet of a person's life, but to my mind, it must make me interested in what the subject was interested in, or why the subject was interested in it. Good juvenile literature should open the universe to young minds. Martin and Azarian have done this.

Snowflake Bentley discovered as a boy that he was interested in the microscopic world of crystals--snow crystals--and he developed the skills he needed to show the world what had never been seen before.

This book is a nicely blended portrayal of a real person, with facts by Jacqueline Briggs Martin to substantiate the story beautifully illustrated by Mary Azarian. ( )
  kaulsu | Dec 19, 2014 |
I would use this story to be able to describe character traits. The students and I would read aloud the story and then discuss our character in our story. We would go back to our seats to write down the character traits from the story and then discuss. ( )
  hollyegirard | Nov 29, 2014 |
I really enjoyed Snowflake Bentley. I thought it was a really great story. I really enjoyed how on every page there was a fact about Wilson Bentley. For example on the first page it says, "Wilson Bentley was born February 9, 1865, on a farm in Jericho, Vermont." I thought these little facts made the story very personal. It made you feel like you were watching life story. I also really enjoyed the characters. I thought this book showed the importance of believing in someone. His parents believed that he could take photographs of the snow even if he couldn't. I think one of the main ideas in this story is to show passion for nature. Wilson desperately wanted to take a picture of a snowflake. Another main idea in this story is to never give up your passion. Wilson struggled to take a good picture of a snowflake but by the end of the story, he was able to take an amazing picture of a snowflake. ( )
  ckenne17 | Oct 15, 2014 |
Snowflake Bentley shares the story of one individual’s true calling and passion in life. The informational text is accompanied by distinguished illustrations appealing to the historical time frame. The author did an astonishing job transforming an average topic, into an enjoyable read. This book had to power to take me back to my childhood, when I had more of an appreciation for the beauty snow. This book provides an escape for its audience, taking us to a place where we can too appreciate our passion in life. I will never look at a snowflake with simplicity in mind again! ( )
  nfigue1 | Sep 18, 2014 |
This Caldecott Medal book is about a boy name Bentley from Vermont. He loved to study nature and especially loved snowflakes the most. His mother gave him a microscope so he could see if snowflakes ever had the same shape. His father bought him a camera and he took different pictures of nature but loved taking pictures of snowflakes more. He would sell and make gifts from his pictures. Bentley walked miles in a blizzard. He became ill and died of pneumonia.
Personal Reaction:Bentley had a personal love and devotion for snowflakes. He didn't let the cold or blizzards stop him from doing what he loved. It wasn't about making money or trying to get famous.
Classroom Extensions:
1. Draw or cut your own shape of snowflakes.
2. Get a slide, spray with hairspray, collect snowflakes, and examine it with a magnify glass or a microscope
  valhaitshan | Sep 7, 2014 |
This is the life of Wilson Bentley. When he was a young boy, living in Vermont, he was very fascinated by snowflakes. When his parents saved enough money, they bought him a camera. He loved taking pictures of many things in nature, but snowflakes were his favorite, because of how unique every one was. After a big storm that Bentley had been outside during to capture more beautiful pictures of the snowflakes, he caught pneumonia, and died a few short weeks later.
Personal Reaction:
This book is written in a very inspiring ways. As you find more out about his life, it encourages you to do what you want in life. With as little as he had, he made so much of it.
Extension Ideas:
1. Draw your own unique snowflake.
2. Study how a snowflake is formed.
3. Write a paragraph about something you are interested in that you want to stick with you as part of your legacy.
  alexis.smith | Jul 18, 2014 |
From an early age, Wilson Bentley was fascinated with snowflakes and wanted to share the beauty he had discovered with the world.

This endearing story of the life of Wilson Bentley, "The Snowflake Man," is beautifully told and is brought to life by the bright and colorful illustrations. ( )
  lbblackwell | Jul 13, 2014 |
The hidden theme in this book I think is enjoying something and pursuing it in a positive way. The passion in this book was snowflakes and viewing snowflakes in different ways. This is an important theme for kid's to make sure they follow what they like and there dreams. This book has very good pictures and that is why it won the Caldecott award. ( )
  AliciaFine | Jun 3, 2014 |
This biography tells the life story of Bentley, a poor boy living in farming country of Vermont. The part of Vermont Bentley lives in is cold and snows quite often. Bentley becomes fascinated with snowflakes and weather and eventually his parents save up enough money to buy a camera for Bentley. Bentley takes photographs of various nature items but finds that taking pictures of snowflakes is his favorite because of the unique qualities they have. As Bentley grows old he sells some of his work but mostly gives it away. Sadly, Bentley dies after getting sick during a bad storm. Now there is a memorial for Bentley in Vermont and his work is still famous today.
  Shoshanabrmsn | May 29, 2014 |
This is a wonderful and simple biography of Wilson Bentley. The pictures in this story the pictures are absolutely beautiful. This story is also very informative in an engaging way. It also has easy-to-read margins that tell facts about Wilson Bentley. For example “Willie’s mother was his teacher…” The main purpose of this story is to inform readers about Wilson Bentley’s life and accomplishments in an engaging way. ( )
  jsanfi1 | Mar 30, 2014 |
I liked this book for multiple reasons. One thing that I really liked about this story was the language. The author uses very descriptive language that shows how intrigued Willie is by snowflakes. She describes how Willie was catching single snowflakes and "studying the icy crystals" while other children were building forts and doing other typical snow activities. The author also states that Willie thought snowflakes were "masterpieces of design" and that "no one design was ever repeated". These descriptive observations portray the characters fascination with snowflakes. I also really liked the illustrations and other various text features in this story. For example, the writing on each page is on a side bar with a snowflake background which I found to be very appealing to the eye. The illustrations enhance this story by showing detailed facial expressions of the characters. For example, when Willie's father is listening to Willie talk about the camera that he wants, which would cost as much as his fathers herd of ten cows, you can tell by his facial expression that he is pondering the idea and considering getting Willie the camera even though it is extremely expensive. I think that these details allow the reader to really connect with the text and grasp a better understanding of the characters and how they are feeling. I believe that the big idea of this story is that it is important to pursue your passion and although it may not make you rich, it will make you happy. ( )
  kbarge1 | Mar 4, 2014 |
A really great picture book biography for children. Illustration done in a wood cut style that was folksy and nice. The story was pleasant and the historical side bar info was good for answering questions and adding more detail. Especially fun to read in the thick of the winter. After seeing much snow it is always fun to think about no two snowflakes ever being the same! ( )
  dms02 | Feb 27, 2014 |
"Snowflake" (Wilson) Bentley loved snowflakes and took pictures of them regularly with a magnifying camera. This picture book is a biography of the man, and a celebration of science and discovery. This already interesting book is made beautiful by the artwork of Mary Azarian who used woodcuts to create the prints used in the book. The book also includes pictures taken by "Snowflake Bentley". This is useful for reports, early STEM, and general reading.
  bdemontigny | Feb 18, 2014 |
Great piece of history! ( )
  lmeza | Feb 6, 2014 |
Caldecott winner, 1999
picture book story of Wilson Bentley, a farmer who discovered the ice crystals in snowflakes and how to photograph them.
  bp0128bd | Jan 24, 2014 |
Snowflake Bentley is a book about Wilson Bentley, a photographer who spent his career photographing and publishing snowflakes. The book shows the beauty of snowflakes (Caldecott Award) while simultaneously casting a light on Bentley's life. I like this book because of its beautiful illustrations and would want to use it in my teaching because it has such lovely pictures while also telling an interesting but simple life story. This book is suitable for Grades K-3 and could be taught with themes on nature, Caldecott winners, photography/photographers, or biographies.
  MadeleinePemberton | Dec 10, 2013 |
Wilson Bentley has a passion for snowflakes. He tried to convince people about the uniqueness of snowflakes, but people did not take him serious. He never gave up hope of capturing and showing the world the differences in snowflakes. His parents bought him a special camera to help him capture pictures of the snowflakes. Wilson Bentley never gave up and he showed the world the rare beauty of snowflakes.
  Future_educator | Nov 25, 2013 |
Snowflake Bentley is a picture book biography about Wilson Bentley, who loved snowflakes, but could not capture their beauty or convince people that they were all unique until his parents purchased him a special camera as a young man. People often misunderstood him and thought that he was strange, but nothing deterred him from his love of and natural curiosity about snowflakes. Mary Azarian's wood-cut illustrations beautifully portray the text outlining Bentley's life and love of nature.

In the classroom, this book would be great for the winter months, especially in a science lesson/unit about snow. Maybe students could even inspect or photograph snowflakes for themselves. This book would also demonstrate the value of all kinds of different interests and people. ( )
  Michaela.Bushey | Nov 22, 2013 |
A very informative and inspiring biography about W.A. Bentley, a man with a passion for snowflakes. The main idea focused on Bentley's obsession with snowflakes and his drive to capture snowflakes in their crystal form to show the world their beauty. This book showed what can happen when a person sets their mind on a goal and works hard to meet that goal. It also explores beauty and treasure from Bentley's perspective. ( )
  jthuro1 | Nov 20, 2013 |

A book about a boy who grew up loving snowflakes. It goes on to talk about how he discovers to take pictures of the snowflakes. It talks about how he went through the process of capturing a snowflake and trying to figure out how to take a pcture of it.

Personal Reaction

This would be a good book to show kids to never give up on their dreams. Bentley wanted to capture a picture of a snowflake and he did just that. It shows kids to always follow their dreams and never give up on them.

Classroom Extension Ideas

1. Learn more about snowflakes and what they are made out of.
2. Look up all the different pictures of real snowflakes and learn what makes each one so unique.
3. Have the students make their own snowflakes.
  JessShaffer | Nov 18, 2013 |
Wilson Bentley was obsessed with snowflakes. He tried different methods to get a closer look at them. Eventually his parents bought him a special camera. He worked diligently to find the best way to photograph snowflakes. He discovered that snowflakes were always six sided, but were never the same.
  n.oreilly | Nov 3, 2013 |
great story for child who want to learn about different shape of snowflake throught photograph.
this book come from Pierece College
age 5
  xiomaragrace12 | Oct 28, 2013 |
I liked the illustrations in this non-fiction book. They look as if they were drawn many years ago which is great because the book is about a man, Wilson Bentley, who lived many years ago. The book describes Wilson's many attempts to photograph snowflakes. Snowflakes were his passion. ( )
  malindahodgson | Sep 22, 2013 |
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