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Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs…

Snowflake Bentley (original 1998; edition 2009)

by Jacqueline Briggs Martin, Mary Azarian (Illustrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,3591055,652 (4.16)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 105 (next | show all)
This would be a good book to use for grades 1-5. It can be used to intrigue younger grades, but also inform and interest older grades during a read aloud. Students can be introduced to different concepts of art, and photography which the main character does. They can also learn about snow and how no snowflake is the same as another. This would be good to use in the winter months because t will relate to the season. ( )
  aeuin01 | Apr 23, 2016 |
I loved reading this book for three reasons. First, I enjoyed how on each page there was a side bar that had actual facts about Wilson Bentley. Each side bar connected to the story that was being told about his life and what it took to capture the perfect evidence of a snowflake that he could share with everyone. I liked how the side bar was decorated with snowflakes which corresponded well with the whole theme of the book. These facts on the side made the story personal. Wilson believed that, “snowflakes were masterpieces of design…No one design was repeated. When a snowflake melted…just that much beauty was gone, without leaving any record behind.” This is why he worked so hard to capture images of snowflakes. Second, the illustrations were beautifully made and corresponded well with the written text. Throughout the book the illustrator would use bright colors to express that it is nice and sunny out and then dark colors when he was representing the snowy days. Third, I liked how at the end of the book it talked about his accomplishments and how he died. It also explained how there is a monument to recognize Wilson. The last sentence of the book was a perfect ending to sum up his accomplishments. “Neighbors and strangers have come to know of the icy wonders that land on their own mittens—thanks to Snowflake Bentley.” On the final page it has a real picture of Bentley and a quote from him. The main message of this book is to teach kids to never give up on something they want even if there are people who may doubt you. ( )
  gbarbo1 | Apr 4, 2016 |
I would use this book in a 2nd/3rd grade setting for its use of prediction, vocabulary skills, and main point. I would use this book to introduce the main point of stories, and to solve the main point, we have to predict what is going to happen next in the story. I would also use this book to have my students create autobiographies or personal narratives. ( )
  Amanda11 | Feb 15, 2016 |
I enjoyed this book very much, because it would be an amazing lesson on how no two people are the same. I think that this book is great for ages 3 and up. In the classroom you could have the students all make paper snowflakes and I would display them all together and we could compare all of snowflakes and confirm that all are unique in their own ways.
  AnnaTaylor | Feb 14, 2016 |
I would use this book for a 3rd grade classroom. The vocabulary could be somewhat difficult for younger grades. I would use this as a mentor text for a water cycle unit, or to demonstrate weather patterns with my students. I would also use this book to introduce text features; such as pictures/captions. It has a lot of text features within to add more detail. ( )
  ewhite06 | Feb 8, 2016 |
This book, while engaging for the grades k-3, would also be are great way to incorporate cross-curricular content related to science. You can use inquiry to investigate what students know about the state of water and what change occurs in different environments. ( )
  Isaacwinton | Feb 3, 2016 |
While this book may have moved a little slowly, it was still a very informational book and is also entertaining to keep students engaged. You can use this book in a third grade class. The book helped to show the history of Wilson Bentley with an explanation of his life on each page. It also shows his perseverance about how he did not give up on his dream of wanting to capture an image of a snowflake to share with his friends and family. This is a good book to show students how they should not give up on their dreams. It shows them that if they try hard enough and put enough effort into something, You can use this book to read to the class and have them do a writing extension to talk about something in their life that may have given up on because it got to be too difficult. Or they can write about how they worked really hard at something and persevered and accomplished their goal like Wilson Bentley. This book can also be used to talk about the different seasons and states of matter. In the book, he took pictures in all of the different seasons and took pictures of two of the states of matter. Depending on the age of the students, there are many different topics that can be used for extension activities. Even though this book is a little slow, it is still entertaining and is good to use as a way to teach students in a fun way or to introduce a topic. It would also be good to talk about the award that is on the cover of the book as well so that children can learn what it is about. You can talk to the children about how the pictures in the book are illustrated very well and that is why it won an award and about how there are other awards that books can receive as well. This book can be used to teach students a lot of different lessons about many different topics. Third grade standard: 3.
  SarahSchuster | Feb 2, 2016 |
This book would be great to use in a science class. For younger kids, it could be used to teach the three different forms of water. For kids who are a bit older, it could be used to teach about the water cycle. It could also be used to teach how snow forms. Using microscopes and experiments could be designed around this book as well. This book could also be used to teach lessons like never giving up, and how everyone is unique.
  TaylorWebb | Feb 1, 2016 |
Wilson Bentley loved snow and snow crystals so much he wanted to share them with the world. His parents spent their savings to buy him a fancy camera to snapshot the snowflakes. He would either have a good winter or bad when it came to getting the right pictures. As he got older, he shared his snowflakes with more people and had a book published. Shortly after his book hit stores, he passed away from pneumonia. I really love how the author, Jacqueline Briggs Martin, told this story, and included snippets in the side text. The side text went into more detail that helped you understand Willie more. The illustrator, Mary Azarian, made the text come to life. I feel that with the pictures, I understood the text better. ( )
  Theresa_Kieffer | Jan 28, 2016 |
The images looked like they were painted. This story is based off of the life story of Wilson Bentley. This would be a good book to have in the classroom. Represents the interest and hard work that he put into documenting snowflakes.
  KatieMichalski | Nov 30, 2015 |
This is a true story about Wilson Bentley; a little boy who grew up in Vermont and ended up being the first person to ever photograph snowflakes. This book goes through his life, and shows the reader that everyone in the town thought Wilson Bentley was weird because he was so fascinated with snow. His parents supported his fascination and bought him a huge camera in order to take the pictures. His photographs are very beautiful, and there are a few in the book for the reader to see. ( )
  stuhldryer | Oct 25, 2015 |
30 months - O didn't really get into this one which is too bad. I enjoyed the story very much... snow, microscopy and photography and a beautiful illustration style, these things make for a good book in my eyes. I think we'll revisit this one again when she's a bit older... maybe after we've caught and examined a few snowflakes this winter. ( )
  maddiemoof | Oct 20, 2015 |
I loved this book and how it captures the true beauty of art and science. Not only does it capture this but it allows kids to learn a lesson to never give up on something they want. The little boy in this book loved snowflakes so much when he was little that he wanted to be able to share his love for snowflakes with others even if it wasn't snowing. He never gave up with photography and finding a way to share the beauty of snowflakes with others. The book also uses amazing woodcut illustrations. Along with the illustrations i loved the format of the book and how the snowy facts were in the margins surrounding the woodcut illustrations. This was a great biography book for children to learn a lesson and enjoy his love for snowflakes. ( )
  adepuy1 | Sep 23, 2015 |
Biography of Willie Bentley self-taught scientist who discovered a way to photograph and study snowflakes. Story begins with his childhood and interests and leads into his love of snow, study, and photography.
  emifoltz | Aug 13, 2015 |
PIC, snowflakes, photographs
  prichter | Aug 3, 2015 |
A wonderful story about a man who spent his whole life completely absorbed by snowflake shapes and trying to bring them to life for others. The graphics are amazing how he used wood block prints.
  foleysh | Jul 28, 2015 |
A short biography about the life of Wilson Bentley, who was fascinated by the science and art behind snowflakes. He developed a way to photograph individual flakes, and proved that no two are alike.
  mlbailey77 | May 30, 2015 |
This story is about a man who is fascinated with snowflakes. He is determined to try and figure out how to photograph snowflakes because he wants to be able to look at them even after they melt. He finally figures it out after several tries. He puts the flake on a black background and takes the picture. He gets very famous, and after he died, the town he was from made a memorial and statue for him! This book was an autobiography. ( )
  NatalieCJones | Apr 19, 2015 |
A biography about a farm boy born in 1865 on the Vermont with the fascination with snowflakes. Bentley spend most of his life studying ice crystals and how to capture them to prove that no two snowflakes are alike. When Bentley was 17 years old his parents bought him camera to photograph the snowflakes his spend winter after winter trying to photograph the perfect snowflake. Bentley spend his life doing what he loved. ( )
  harrisrm | Mar 8, 2015 |
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 |
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