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.
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.
Snowflake Bentley NOW available as a video biography from Weston Woods. Search the page for "Snowflake Bentley." Study Guide (PDF)
And here's what others have said about Snowflake
- Rebecca Mullen's in her Altared Spaces blog says, Snowfalke Bentley is "...just the thing for a hectic December." Read her entry about sharing Snowflake Bentley with young listeners in her home.
- "A fascinating biography... " Judy Freeman,
Scholastic Instructor (Jan/Feb 1999)
Globe's Quick Picks - Sunday 01/03/99 M13
- American Booksellers Association (21 Sept
1998) Kid's Pick:
York Times Book Reviews by Betsy Groban (17 Jan 1999)
- Named by The Yankee
Magazine to their list of 100 Classic New England