The Story of Snow by Mark Cassino with Jon Nelson

story-of-snowCindy: There’s nothing more fun than catching the first snowflake on your tongue or admiring one on your mitten, unless it’s reading The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter’s Wonder (Chronicle, 2009). Cassino provides clear text explaining the formation of snow crystals and snowflakes with stunning photographs of nature’s creation. Elementary teachers will delight in sharing this book with their students who may be surprised to learn that snow crystals aren’t all water; they need a “speck” of something for the water to attach to, be it soil, ash, pollen, or even plant bacteria. The various shapes are explained as well, including the odd column-shaped flake. The illustrations give size references to show just how tiny these parts are that become the snowflakes we can see. If you’re not a fan of snow, catch this book in your mitten and maybe you’ll be converted.

Lynn: When snow comes down in large amounts as it often does where we live, it is easy to forget how amazing each snowflake is. Cassino and Nelson help us remember and they do an unusual thing with this book. They take a rather technical subject and make it “crystal” clear for really young readers and still retain a tangible sense of wonder. This is a beautiful book and a fascinating book. I learned so much when I read it to our focus group. Did you know that there really can be identical snow flakes? Some simple plate crystals may appear exactly alike through a high-power microscope. It is when the crystals get complicated that no two are alike.

Our focus group really enjoyed this book and took a lot of time to examine the crystal pictures and the excellent diagrams of how crystals are formed. The last two pages provide excellent instructions on how to catch snowflakes for close inspection. I have the simple supplies ready for tomorrow when my grandsons come over for the day. Even my husband who is now plowing out the driveway for the third time in two days is looking forward to this activity. Let it snow!

Thank you to Practically Paradise for hosting Nonfiction Monday on this first day back from Christmas.nonfictionmonday

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About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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  1. LET IT SNOW! « SimplyScience Blog | January 10, 2010

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