Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snow

I'm not much of a snow person, but I have to admit that there's something special about it.  This morning I appreciated the way that it blankets the world in quiet.  Even the dog sleeps late on a snowy morning!  But more importantly, as a big snowstorm rages outside, I enjoy the fact that snow can remind us that we're not quite as important as we think we are, that we are not always the ones who define our role in this great big wonderful world.

If you're lucky enough to be tucked up at home with children on snowy day, here are a few of my snowy favorites - two older classics and a great new non-fiction title:

My favorite snowy day book!
Snow by Uri Shulevitz, a Caldecott Honor book from 1999


The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, a Caldecott Medal winner from 1963

 If you don't want to go out and play after reading this one, you don't know how to have fun!

 

and The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter's Wonder by Mark Cassino
a new non-fiction title

Cassino, Mark. 2009. The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter's Wonder.

In thirteen simple sentences,

"This is the story of snow.
Snow begins with a speck. ... ,"

The Story of Snow explains the science behind the snowflake. But there is more to this book - smaller print on each page offers a more detailed explanation of the simpler text,

"Clouds are mostly made of air and water, but there are also bits of other things, like tiny particles of dirt, ash and salt...A snow crystal needs one of these "specks" to start growing."

Accompanying this short (32-page) "story," are diagrams, watercolor backdrops, and striking photographs of snowflakes. Directions for catching snow crystals wrap up the book.

The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter's Wonder follows a trend that I've seen a lot lately in children's non-fiction. The book is almost as multi-faceted as the snowflakes it describes - picture book, science book, story book, activity book. The simpler text may be read as a story to young listeners. Older children will benefit from the more detailed explanation. Everyone will enjoy the stunning photography. Teachers should like this one!

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