Illustrated by Mary Azarian
Houghton Mifflin, 1998
Find @ Your Public Library
Winner of the 1999 Caldecott Award
About the Book
Snowflake Bentley is the story of Wilson Bentley, a farmer born in 1865 in Jericho, Vermont, a small town between Lake Champlain and Mount Mansfield, in the heart of Vermont’s “snowbelt.” Perhaps it was no accident that Bentley always loved snow more than anything else in the world. When he was fifteen his mother gave him a microscope. When he looked at snowflakes under the microscope he was stunned by their delicate beauty.
He decided he had to share that beauty with others. But he did not know how. And there was no one to teach him. His father and his neighbors thought trying to save snowflakes was foolishness, Bentley was determined. And by the time he died in 1931 he was considered the world’s expert on snowflakes. Read more about Wilson A. Bentley, and his work, at the Buffalo Museum of Science’s digital library in support of the Bentley Snow Crystal Collection (select the “Additional Information” link to see the collection).
- Read more about nature and the out-of-doors: a bibliography of books about nature. Learn about the environment, bogs and butterflies, gardening and bird watching, the wilderness and the tall grass prairie. And more books by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and by Claudia McGehee.
- Read what publisher Anita Silvey says about her first encounter with the book Snowflake Bentley
February 9th – anniversary of the birth of Wilson A. Bentley – Children’s Book Almanac Blog http://childrensbookalmanac.com/2011/02/snowflake-bentley/
- Suggestions for activities from a Chicago parent – on the Chicago Muslim Parent Blog . 2008, December 27
- Curriculum suggestions in Carol Otis Hurst’s September 2001 Newsletter
- Activities developed for Snowflake Bentley and presented in a Literature Packet on Vicki Blackwell’s “Internet Guide for Educators.”
- Extension activities developed for Snowflake Bentley by Nancy Polette online.
- Visit the Snowflake Bentley website. This site gives additional biographical information about Wilson A. Bentley and about his life’s work.
- Go to Alaska and see what they have to say about Snowflake Bentley at the Alaska Science Forum
- Snowflake’s home state of Vermont has a history page that takes you to Virtual Vermont.
On February 1, 1999 the American Library Association announced the 1999 Caldecott Award. The Award went to Mary Azarian, the illustrator of Jacqueline Briggs Martin’s Snowflake Bentley.
In making the award announcement Caldecott Committee Chair Barbara Barstow said,
Snowflake Bentley has a beautiful and thoughtful design, a poetic and informative text, distinguished illustrations, universal appeal and resonance. Mary Azarian, a Vermont artist who loves snow as much as Wilson Bentley, has created strong and skillfully carved woodcuts that portray sensible, sturdy characters and a timeless rural landscape.
The book was also named the 1998 Winner of the Lupine Award.
- Boston Globe’s Quick Picks – Sunday 01/03/99 M13
- American Booksellers Association (21 Sept 1998) Kid’s Pick: General Nonfiction
- New York Times Book Reviews by Betsy Groban (17 Jan 1999)
- Named by The Yankee Magazine to their list of 100 Classic New England Children’s Books
- Rebecca Mullen in her Altared Spaces blog says, Snowflake Bentley is “…just the thing for a hectic December.”
- “A fascinating biography… ” Judy Freeman, Scholastic Instructor (Jan/Feb 1999)