Customer Reviews: The Little Book of Snowflakes
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"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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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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on December 31, 2004
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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on January 5, 2007
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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VINE VOICEon November 4, 2006
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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on January 29, 2006
I found this book to be a great companion piece to the book The Snowflake, Winter's Secret Beauty. It doesn't go into the detail and science surrounding the origin of the different types of snowflakes like the larger book does, but it's a fascinating showplace of the different types of flakes. It's a great "pick-up" book for the casual observer!
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on February 23, 2006
The size and style of this little book is fantastic--the photos make you love winter! The inspirational quotations are an added bonus along with the details about snowflakes and how to photograph them. I got this for a friend whose wedding had a snowflake theme. It was perfect and provided a great memento of her day! I was not a snowflake lover before I saw this book, but now I am hooked. You can even buy the actual photos of the snowflake from Caltech and next winter they will be featured on US postal stamps. Amazing and beautiful. I am so happy with this purchase!
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on March 8, 2006
This book has lots of wonderful interesting pictures as well as inspirational quotes. A very tranquil book to look at if you need a little escape from the hectic world.
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on February 21, 2006
I use this book as inspiration for my second grade students when we learn about snow and weather. They love it. Beautiful natural photgraphs.
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on December 4, 2012
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 and again. We also give copies as gifts. Snowflakes are so amazing--yeah God!
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