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The Little Book of Snowflakes [Hardcover]

Kenneth Libbrecht
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 31, 2004 0896586529 978-0896586529 First Edition
Following the success of "The Snowflake: Winter's Secret Beauty", this companion gift book features new, super-detailed photographs of snowflakes, detailed captions containing the science behind their beauty, and literary quotes relating to snow and nature.

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The Little Book of Snowflakes + Snowflake Bentley
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Editorial Reviews


Bulletin of the American Meteorology Society, Fall 2005 (circ.: 12,000)
"This miniature companion book features new, highly detailed photographs of snowflakes, with captions that discuss the science behind their beauty and literary quotes relating to snow and nature."

About the Author

Dr. Kenneth Libbrecht is a professor of physics at Caltech, where he studies how crystals grow. His books include Ken Libbrecht’s Field Guide to Snowflakes, The Art of the Snowflake, and others. His latest news and views about snowflakes can be found at his website,

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Voyageur Press; First Edition edition (October 31, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0896586529
  • ISBN-13: 978-0896586529
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.7 x 5.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #674,045 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kenneth Libbrecht knows perhaps more than anyone should about the science of snowflakes. He had his first exposure to the subject during many cold winters growing up on a farm outside of Fargo, North Dakota. He eventually made his way out of the snow and into the sun of Southern California, becoming a professor of physics at Caltech.

In the mid 1990's, Libbrecht's interest in the molecular dynamics of crystal growth led him back to his roots and into to a detailed study of how ice crystals grow from water vapor, which is essentially the physics of snowflakes. This ongoing endeavor seeks to better understand how crystals grow and how complex patterns emerge in the process. Libbrecht also furthered the art of snow crystal photography and has taken over 10,000 pictures of all different types of snowflakes. His books display many beautiful photographs and describe how these diminutive ice sculptures manage to appear, quite literally, out of thin air. In 2006, the U.S. Post Office created a set of commemorative first-class postage stamps featuring Libbrecht's snowflake photographs.

More news and views about snowflakes can be found at Libbrecht's web site --

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Stunning Photographs of Snow Crystals! February 17, 2005
"The Little Book of Snowflakes" by Kenneth Libbrecht is a diminutive companion of sorts to the larger "The Snowflake: Winter's Secret Beauty", which Libbrecht wrote with Patricia Rasmussen. It contains 140 beautiful photographs of snow crystals and snowflakes, taken by Kenneth Libbrecht and his traveling photomicroscope. 45 of the photographs are full page, which in this case means 5 1/2 inches (14 cm) square. I'm not sure if any of the photographs duplicate those found in "Winter's Secret Beauty", but most of them don't. If you haven't seen either of these books, the photographs are so beautiful that they must be seen to be believed. The text in "The Little Book of Snowflakes" is sparse. It consists of basic information from the author on how snowflakes are formed and 30 quotations on the subjects of snow and nature by an assortment of notable names, from Aristotle to Hsiao Tung to William Blake to Albert Einstein to Yogi Berra. As with it's companion book, the price of "The Little Book of Snowflakes' belies the quality of its contents. It makes a wonderful gift for the photographer, nature lover, aesthete -or anyone who has had too much or too little of the white stuff outside. Kenneth Libbrecht puts snow in a new light. For those who couldn't get enough of the photographs in "Winter's Secret Beauty", this little book is a welcome addition.

Kenneth Libbrecht is a physics professor at CalTech, and he has an excellent web site: [...] . Whatever else Libbrecht may accomplish in his field, the publication of "The Snowflake: Winter's Secret Beauty" and "The Little Book of Snowflakes" seem to ensure his place in popular history as a "snowflake man", an epithet previously earned only by Wilson Bentley a century ago. If you like this book, be sure to check out "The Snowflake: Winter's Secret Beauty" for more photographs and detailed information about the formation and identification of snow crystals.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Gift Book Value in a Pocket Sized Version October 21, 2004
Last year's book, The Snowflake: Winter's Secret Beauty by Kenneth Libbrecht, was one of the finest books about the beauty and science of nature that it has ever been my pleasure to see and read. I gave copies to many members of my family.

Naturally, I was intrigued by the idea of The Little Book of Snowflakes. I am very impressed with what I see. Although the book is small in page size and numbers of pages, Mr. Libbrecht has created another masterpiece. Somehow he has managed to do several difficult things at once: Show the intricate beauty of snowflakes; demonstrate how they can vary with different weather conditions; explain the science behind their development; and capture the implications of their beauty in a number of luminous quotes.

I picked the book up thinking it would take but a few minutes to scan. I looked up two hours later to wonder how that much time had passed. I could not have had more fun if I had been looking at the world's finest collection of diamonds of rubies.

Trust me. Stock up on this book. It's perfect for all kinds of gift occasions. And be sure to keep several for yourself so you'll always have one to look at when you want to bathe your soul in beauty.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars YOU CAN HAVE YOUR DIAMONDS !! December 31, 2004
By mcHaiku
Kenneth Libbrecht, Caltech physicist, has inspired a book that may be purchased in quantity for gifts . . . or shared to delight friends and associates. He has followed in the footsteps of Wilson Bentley (see below), photographing the delicate and exquisite crystals that fall from our sky.

Quotations by Rachel Carson, John Muir, Oscar Wilde, Thoreau, Einstein, Robert Frost and others complement the text & the remarkable photographs, colorfully reproduced.

"Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken . . . Silent and soft, and slow . . . Descends the snow" is Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's beautiful metaphor. Libbrecht explains that "most symmetrical crystals are formed during light snowfalls, with little wind" and during especially cold weather. He tells us that 3-fold symmetry is rare, and "you will not find (any) eight-sided snowflake."

MORE FASCINATING THAN DIAMONDS, snowflakes are works of art that come in countless, intriguing shapes. Libbrecht says "each takes about fifteen minutes to form . . . out of water vapor in the air." 19th century author Eden Phillpots said "the universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper"!

This book should be shared with children, along with the 1998 Caldecott medal-winning book (isbn # 0395861624) written by Jacqueline B. Martin and illustrated by Mary Azarian's woodcuts. It tells about the young Vermont farmboy who collected snowflakes and invented the process of photographing them . . . and grew into his nickname of "Snowflake Bentley" - - the title of the book.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing! January 5, 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you are looking for something a little less informational than Ken Libbrecht's Fieldguide to Snowflakes,then this is what you are looking for. I gave that one out to teachers and friends for Christmas and was enjoyed by all. It is more of a small coffeetable book with lots of amazing photographs of actual snowflakes.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just another pretty book November 4, 2006
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Who needs another little mini-coffee table book? Well this is so much more. The stunning photographs of snowflakes and the tidbits about how they are formed are a wonder. You will look through this book again and again, as will people of all ages. I fell in love with this book and ordered multiple copies to give as small gifts to special people. Nearly every one who sees it wants to know where to get one.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Was Happy to find
Have always enjoyed this book. ,Purchased to share with grandchildren. The snowflafes are pleasurable to view. Was informative.Let it snow
Published 2 months ago by Nila Nagy
5.0 out of 5 stars Facinating Images
It is a remarkable feat to be able to capture photos of tiny fragile snowflakes before the equipment used causes them to melt or handling causes damage. Read more
Published 6 months ago by hoofbeat
4.0 out of 5 stars Wow!
Such an interesting little book. It's filled with beautiful pictures. The photography is amazing! Smaller in size around 8x8. Came in a padded envelope. Read more
Published 8 months ago by shelly
5.0 out of 5 stars A Keepsake Treasure
We had a copy of this in years past and gave it away to a friend who so admired it! We keep a copy of this little treasure on the coffee table all winter and look through it again... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Jessica
5.0 out of 5 stars A Perfectly Astonishing Picture Book
Close up, stunning photos of snowflakes by CalTech's head of physics, combined with quotes about nature, wonder and science, which is a smaller gift version of the more in depth... Read more
Published on April 8, 2012 by M. Carroll
5.0 out of 5 stars Precious in every way
Snowflakes was given to me as a gift several years ago. This past Christmas 2011, I ordered several to give as gifts. Read more
Published on January 26, 2012 by KMan
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating little book!
This little book was a fascinating look at snowflakes. Most people see snowflakes when they fall, and never think much about them, other than they accumulate on the ground and are... Read more
Published on April 3, 2009 by Donna K. Bradbury
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Book
The Little Book of Snowflakes
What a Beautiful little book! I think i got as much enjoyment or maybe more than my Granddaughter did. Read more
Published on February 9, 2009 by L. Elshoff
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful winter beauty.
One may feel a sense of gloom and doom as winter closes in. But Ken Libbrecht shows us the astounding beauty that only comes in winter -- in the intricate designs of snowflakes. Read more
Published on February 16, 2008 by K. Childs
2.0 out of 5 stars Too Much Money, Not Enough Book
My wife loves snowflakes and I bought her this book for Christmas. I was disappointed in the book, not in the quality of the images, but in their relative scarcity. Read more
Published on January 19, 2008 by Patrick Ross
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