Snowflake Bentley

CALDECOTT MEDAL WINNER – 1999

Snowflake Bentley

By Jacqueline Briggs Martin

Illustrations by Mary Azarian

New York: Scholastic, 1998

30 pp.

Age: 5+

Interests: snowflakes, snow, biography, science, scientists, photography, nature

Also about W. A. Bentley: My Brother Loved Snowflakes by Mary Bahr

In the days when farmers worked with ox and sled and cut the dark with lantern light, there lived a boy who loved snow more than anything else in the world.

A biography of W. A. Bentley, born in 1865 on a farm in Vermont. He developed a fascination with snowflakes and became determined to learn more about them and make a record of snowflake patterns. In his teens he drew hundreds of snowflakes, until he heard of a new microscope-camera. His dedicated parents spent their savings on the camera and he embarked on a new career of experiment and study. Neighbours laugh at him, but in time Willie’s photographs were in demand at universities all over America and his book Snow Crystals is still a seminal work on the subject.

A beautiful story about a scientist and artist pursuing his vision despite all obstacles. His accomplishments are astonishing and his legacy lives on, as the most famous son of Jericho, Vermont. Further details about “the Snowflake Man” are given in informative sidebars, and on the last page there’s a photograph of Bentley along with some of his photographs and a marvelous quote from him about his work.

Illustrated with wonderful woodcuts, hand tinted with watercolour paint, evocative of the primitive art of rural New England.

An inspirational tale for aspiring scientists, nature lovers, photographers, artists, poets, or anyone looking for their own path to work that they love. Highly recommended.

(This title on amazon.)

one of Wilson A. Bentley's photographs

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All writings posted here are © Kim Thompson, unless otherwise indicated. For all artwork on this site, copyright is retained by the artist.
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