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My Brother Loved Snowflakes: The Story of Wilson A. Bentley, the Snowflake Man Hardcover – September 1, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-5-Following in the footsteps of Jacqueline Briggs Martin's Snowflake Bentley (Houghton, 1998), this picture-book biography covers the life of Bentley at a similar reading level, but with a slightly different approach. Bahr's text, told from the point of view of Bentley's older brother, goes for the emotional heart of the story rather than a straight telling of the facts about the man's life and work. As seen through Charlie's eyes, Wilson's pioneering work in photographing snowflakes becomes secondary to the human qualities that led him to persist in what many called a pointless task: "That's the way I'll remember my brother. Always seeing the beauty. Always sharing it. Always taking care not to hurt anything." Jacobsen's illustrations have softer colors and less chunky lines than Mary Azarian's woodcuts for Martin's book. Multiple boxed scenes on each spread move the story along, and snowflakes spill joyfully through the borders. An author's note gives additional information about Wilson Bentley, but does not mention his brother at all, and it is not clear where the information included in this "imaginary reminiscence" was gathered. Still, the choice to use Charlie's voice creates an affectionate and moving portrait of a dedicated man, and, for all its similarities to Martin's book, this biography has a unique charm of its own.
Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Maryland School for the Deaf, Columbia
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press (September 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1563976897
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563976896
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 8.7 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #776,247 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A. Karlsson on December 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The more well known children's book, Snowflake Bentley (Caldecott Medal Book), may have won the Caldecott award, but I must confess to enjoying this book much more. "My Brother Loved Snowflakes," told from the brother's perspective, shows the human side of people who may be different than others, and makes the quest for knowledge about people, about us and our quest to learn about the world we are blessed with. Rather than playing up Willie Bentley as an eccentric, it shows him as unique, and shows children that for all his differences he gave much to our wealth of knowledge and above all the people in the story -- even the people who attend a lecture he walks out on without a word because of the snow, as very accepting that Bentley is who Bentley is and that there is nothing wrong with that. Since our children will meet so many other children who are vastly different than them, some of them seemingly eccentric, this is a subtle reminder that we all have value and that the difference is part of what makes the world interesting. We need that diversity.

This book will have an added interest to homeschoolers because Bentley and his brother are taught by their mother, a woman who encourages her son's love of learning -- and the father, though he doesn't "get" all this snowflake stuff, still strives to respect his son's desires and loves and encourage him and do what he can regardless.

We made this into something a snowflake learning fest. Bentley's photos of snowflakes are available in an inexpensive format, Snowflakes in Photographs.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Defillippo on February 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wilson A. Bentley, the "Snowflake Man," (1865-1931) was born and raised in Vermont, or snow country...and he "lived his environment" to the hilt!
Every chance he got, he was out there in Nature, taking pictures of insects, water droplets, dew-covered spider webs and that for which he is best known ~ snowflakes and snow crystals.
He led a very interesting and, for the most part, misunderstood life, but he was not one to quit. No matter what the obstacle, he was determined to overlook and overcome it. And his brother, most admiringly, tells this story in a way that only a family member and first-hand observer can.
Even tho' the reminiscing is not his actual words, Charlie Bentley, Wilson's older brother, looks back with affection and admiration...and his words are made to warm the heart of the reader.
The illustrations are wonderful to behold ~ and if I were a young reader (I am in my late 50's now) I would have loved to have owned this book, even then. I am proud to have it in my library now, having a young Grandson who will learn about Nature at my own knee...I intend to encourage him to never be afraid of learning, of the wonders of creation, and of following his own star.
Wilson A. Bentley will be a perfect example of what one person can do to teach and inspire others to do what comes naturally to them, no matter what anyone else says, and in the end, that is always the only way to be, isn't it? ;)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By nic on October 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book is much more personal then the other wonderful book written about Bentley. I do wonder where the references come from, if the author had letters or access to family in some way? Beautiful illustrations and a joy to read. The book on the Bentley photos of snow flakes is a must with any of the books!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
titles I loved to shared with them, and this is one of them. This book does have a lot of text and great facts, which for my kindergarten friends, could be a tad lengthy. Still, it is a great addition to any teacher's library.
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