Monday, May 24, 2010

Nonfiction Monday -- The Story of Snow

The Story of Snow, The Science of Winter's Wonder by Mark Cassino and Jon Nelson. Illustrated by Nora Aoyagi. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2009. (but just arrived at our library)

Hmmmm. I do believe that a week in May, when 90 degrees is predicted, is the Perfect Time to talk about SNOW.

Snow begins "high up in the sky, in a cloud that is very, very cold." It needs a speck of something to grow -- the source of 5 possible specks are illustrated. It even could be floating bacteria.

Ah, now it gets interesting.
Beginning with a drawing showing, in 12 steps, the formation of a six-sided snowflake, the rest of the book is illustrated with a collage of photographs of actual snowflakes. Wonderful photographs!

Double-page spreads each discuss one shape of snow crystal -- stars, plates, columns -- with beautiful examples.

The fun part comes near the end of the book -- How to catch your own snow crystals!
The back endpapers contains a quote from Ukichiro Nakaya, a Japanese scientist, "A snow crystal is a letter from the sky."

This book would be great to pair with the picture book biography of Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin, a Caldecott winner whose illustrator is Mary Azarian.

More Nonfiction Monday posts can be found at 100 Scope Notes. Check out the nontraditional book reviews. Lots of reviewers were having fun today with various formats. -wendieO


anna j said...

What a beautiful-sounding book . . . thanks for the review, Wendie! I love books with neat hands-on activities, so the snow catching one sounds delightful :-)
From another librarian for the young,

Brimful Curiosities said...

A snowflake's construction is so fascinating. We'll be sure to look for this book when winter starts! I'm kind of enjoying the warm weather.

Scope Notes said...

90 degress - a cold book is just what I needed today! Thanks for taking part.

Mandy said...

This books sounds wonderful. Growing up in Upstate NY and I'm still fascinated with snow. Thanks for sharing.

Mary Bowman-Kruhm said...

Hey, blogging works! Good for you, good review, and good comments.