Monday, December 21, 2009

Nonfiction Monday -- Snowflake Bentley

Well, if you've been following this blog, you know that we've had quite a snowstorm here in Maryland. My house had about 20 inches and it looks like my library has had about a foot. (The library is near the bay, so it gets less snow.)

Strangely enough, I like snow. (Except when we're told to report to work and get to sit in a neighboring parking lot because the library's lot and sidewalks hadn't been cleared yet.)

One of the things I like about snow is its variety. Check out various websites that show the many different words describing snow by people who live near the Arctic circle. Inuit/ Lapland/ and others. (I was going to link to one, but he says the language is Eskimo, which is NOT their proper name.)

For this nonfiction Monday, I'd like you to check the Caldecott winner of 1999 -- Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin, Illustrated by Mary Azarian. (She's the one who got the medal) Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co. Available in your library, or any bookstore will order it for you.

Once there was a boy who loved snow. (like me) When he was 17 years old, his parents bought him a camera. Since he lived in the late 1800s, it was a huge camera that used glass negatives. He figured out how to photograph snowflakes and discovered that no two snowflakes are alike! The book of his snowflake photographs, Snow Crystals, is still available and would be a wonderful secondary source to share with the child who reads Bentley's biography.

Although the 'story' part of the biography uses simplified sentences and is quite short, there are sidenotes on all the pages giving more facts.
Enjoy the snow.
Enjoy reading about snowflakes.

The Nonfiction Monday roundup is at SimplyScience today.

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