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
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