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Snowflake Bentley

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Snowflake Bentley by Briggs Martin

Most children are captivated by snow, but how many go on to make it their lifework? This beautiful biography, winner of the 1999 Caldecott Medal, tells the true story of a Vermont farm boy who was mesmerized by snowflakes. Wilson Bentley was fascinated by the six-sided frozen phenomena, and once he acquired a microscope with a camera, his childhood preoccupation took on a more scientific leaning. Bentley spent his life taking countless exquisite photographs (many that are still used in nature photography today), examining the tiny crystals and their delicate, mathematical structures. Jacqueline Briggs Martin tells this tale with simple, graceful prose that will engage children’s imaginations. Edifying and snowflake-scattered sidebars offer more information about Bentley’s methods and snowflake science. The artwork of Mary Azarian, whose 19th-century hand-press illustrations decorate the charming Barn Cat, shines once again in Snowflake Bentley, with woodcuts that reveal an appreciation for detail as well as for the man who loved snow. The lovely illustrations and equally fresh text will inspire and comfort youngsters (and grownups too) who wish they could capture snowflakes all year long. (Ages 4 to 8) (

Author: Briggs Martin

Website for Briggs Martin

Other books by Briggs Martin

Illustrator: Mary Azarian

No illustrator page found for Mary Azarian.

Other books by Mary Azarian

Topics from the book:

Visit each topic page for downloads, lessons, etc. specific to that topic.

Online Units and Resources for Snowflake Bentley

Text over illustration of sky and clouds - Time4Learning and Fun for everyone: Online education for PreK-12th
Looking for a curriculum that makes learning fun? You'll find it in Time4Learning's PreK-12 grade online homeschool curriculum.
Text Time4Learning and rotating graphics for math, science, social studies, and language arts

Snowflake Printable
Twelve free printable snowflake templates to fold and cut into beautiful paper snowflakes.

Snowflake Data Printable
Finding mean, median, mode, and range with snowflakes

Interactive Activities for Snowflake Bentley
From McGraw Hill/Macmillan

Guide to Snowflake Bentley
pdf file from Weston Wood productions. grades 1-3 and 4-5

Bentley Snow Crystal Collection
A digital library providing a high-quality collection of stunning, un-retouched images of Wilson A. Bentley's original glass slide photographs of snow crystals.

Snowflake Bentley Resources
From Carol Hurst's Children's Literature Site

Official Snowflake Bentley Web Site
Includes a number of articles by and about Wilson Bentley and links to other snowflake related websites including a number of educational resources related to snowflakes. This resources page also presents frequently asked question we have received from visitors and answers or links to where you can find out more information.

Wilson A. Bentley - The Snowflake Man
"Under the microscope, I found that snowflakes were miracles of beauty; and it seemed a shame that this beauty should not be seen and appreciated by others. Every crystal was a masterpiece of design and no one design was ever repeated., When a snowflake melted, that design was forever lost. Just that much beauty was gone, without leaving any record behind."

A Guide to Snowflakes

Snow Flakes - hexagonal symmetry
A study of snowflakes; hexagonal symmetry

Lapbook Example
From Homeschooling on a Wing and a Prayer blodspot.

Make a snowflake
Demonstrate basic principles of chemistry by making a snowflake from borax

Why are we featuring this book?

Snowflake Bentley is a book featured in Five in a Row, a literature-based unit study curriculum. Many families use FIAR for all but the grammar/reading and math, and others use it in conjunction with other resources. Above is information about the author and illustrator, story summaries, and links to lesson plans and websites that are great go-alongs for Snowflake Bentley. Please note that these resources are meant to complement, not replace, the Five in a Row units. The Five in a Row volumes are inexpensive and well worth the investment.

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As featured on

US News & World Report, Forbes, KQED, HuffPost,, Money, Healthline Parenthood, Family Education, Parents, Scholastic