Snowflake Bentley

Jacqueline Briggs Martin, Author, Mary Azarian, Illustrator Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $17 (32p) ISBN 978-0-395-86162-2
Azarian's (A Farmer's Alphabet) handsome woodcuts provide a homespun backdrop to Martin's (Grandmother Bryant's Pocket) brief biography of a farmboy born in 1865 on the Vermont snowbelt who never lost his fascination with snowflakes. Wilson A. Bentley spent 50 years pioneering the scientific study of ice crystals, and developed a technique of microphotography that allowed him to capture the hexagonal shapes and prove that no two snowflakes are alike. Martin conveys Bentley's passion in lyrical language (""snow was as beautiful as butterflies, or apple blossoms""), and punctuates her text with frequent sidebars packed with intriguing tidbits of information (though readers may be confused by the two that explain Bentley's solution of how to photograph the snowflakes). Hand-tinted with watercolors and firmly anchored in the rural 19th century, Azarian's woodcuts evoke an era of sleighs and woodstoves, front porches and barn doors, and their bold black lines provide visual contrast to the delicate snowflakes that float airily in the sidebars. A trio of Bentley's ground-breaking black-and-white photographs of snowflakes, along with a picture and quote from him about his love for his work, is the icing that tops off this attractive volume. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/28/1998
Release date: 09/01/1998
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-0-547-24829-5
Prebound-Sewn - 32 pages - 978-0-606-14456-8
Prebound-Sewn - 32 pages - 978-1-60686-715-0
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