Reading with my children is a place I find my church. It’s where my skin becomes soft and my soul is transported. The Island of Yummy became established as an institution when my babies were young. With one in each arm, and a book open between us, I could always find that fountain of Love. Today I take a look at two books. The first is Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin, illustrated by Mary Azarian. The second is an activity book called Rocky Mountain Snowflakes, by Debra Bonzek.
Snow is swirling once again. Fall is a fading memory. There is permission in snow; a blanket of quiet that puts away any worry of outdoor work. Gone from my list is raking the leaves. What I didn’t get done before the snow came will have to wait now for spring clean up. Snow is rest and silence and cups of cocoa.
I find the space of ether in snow and I’m able to catch my breath. I carry a fire in my belly because my childhood held squeaky snow walks with my father that brought us together. Snow is more than weather, it makes a mood.
Sounds like a great time to curl up with a good book. I grew a vivid appreciation for snowflakes while reading to my children. Snowflake Bentley, a Caldecott Award winner, was a slow read, just the thing for a hectic December.
The story is about a boy turned man who falls in love with snow and spends his life capturing flakes of it with a camera. Each blizzard became a marvelous chance to score another image and add it to the growing collection he made with a microscope.
I love the delicacy of each picture. The images look like grandmother’s lace. The care that Bentley took with his wintry camera was astounding.
My family enjoys snow with our sleds, skis and other forms of romping. We are rarely slow enough out doors to marvel at the delicacy of a single flake. Yet each one is unique. With this book I enhanced my love of playing in the cold and gaining rosy cheeks. I came to see snow not in bunches but one flake at a time.
If you, like me, are fascinated by those crystals with curlicues and sparkling diamonds, I recommend Rocky Mountain Snowflakes 1 and 2 as well. These books are written by Debra Bonzek and Dream Bee Publications offers them. (I think it’s worth a click just to get that rainbow bee to wave at me.)
Cutting snowflakes is a slow and delightful way to spend a winter afternoon, and they look so friendly on the sliding glass window or on the family tree. I like this book because the design begins as one picture and expands into another. Try the Teddy Bear design here. Or watch it happen on youtube here.
Very much like the mystery of a storm, itty bitty crystals pile up one by one by one until there is a mountain of the fluffy stuff; enough to support my weight and carry me down the hill. A similar mystery happens to me each time I unfold a snowflake to see what my snips and clips have created. Snow is a little miracle and I am (almost) ready to appreciate the stuff for another season. Writing to all of you has tempted me to fall into the beauty rather than resisting the cold.
Have you ever caught snowflakes on your mitten? Does the cold of winter draw you outside to play or push you in to sip something hot? Do you read more in the winter?