Mr. Curiosity decided our monthly theme for homeschooling should be snow. I agreed that it was very appropriate for winter, and proceeded to check out a bunch of books on snow from our local library. Here’s a quick run-down of some of the better ones that we’ve been reading.
Snow by Bill McAuliff – This has been our go-to book up to now on information on how snow is formed, where it tends to fall, and what it does once it falls (think melting and blizzards). There are lovely photos within the book (the cover is just a taste), which certainly add to the enjoyment of reading the book. This is written for a middle-grade reader, with four chapters around 15 pages each.
Let’s Investigate Sparkling Silent Snow by Madelyn Wood Carlisle – This book again provides lots of basic information about snow, written for a slightly younger audience than the previous book. It had more illustrations than Snow, and each two page spread is a different topic. What it adds are some interesting side bars of what I would consider “fun facts”, including things like snow records and some of the Eskimo words for snow. We’ve all heard the Eskimo have so many words for snow, and this book actually tells you what some of them are (it’s worth it just for that sidebar).
Scholastic Atlas of Weather – This is a more generic book about weather, but it had a whole chapter on snow and ice, which many of the weather books didn’t have. It has some basic information on snow and snowflake formation, and a bit of information on ice storms that isn’t covered in the previous books. Again, lots of photos instead of illustrations, and every two page spread has information on a slightly different topic. Great information on weather phenomenon other than snow as well.
Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin – This is a picture book biography of the first person to take photographs of snowflakes. It describes his love of snow and how he painstakingly figured out how to photograph snowflakes before they melted. Caltech has some photomicrographs of snowflakes you can look at that are similar to what Snowflake Bentley would have seen. You can find more information about him at the official Snowflake Bentley website.
The History of the Snowman by Bob Eckstein – This is a nonfiction book written for adults that I found as I was searching for books about snow in the library system. I couldn’t resist a book about snowmen in media. I will admit I haven’t read it yet, but the basic premise is the author follows the depiction of snowmen in art and popular culture, starting with the first snowman depicted in art through the present.
Snow by Uri Shulevitz – To finish us off, a picture book about snow. There are many, but this one is a favorite. It’s set in Russia, or at least Eastern Europe, and is about a boy who excited to see it snowing, from the first snowflake through the covering of the city. There are very few words on a page, but the images evoked perfectly follow the story. My favorite is the contract between the grey of the city before the snowfall to the brightness of the city after it is covered in snow.
So, if you have a kids that is interested in learning about snow, you should be able to find something to satisfy their itch in these books. Unfortunately for us, it still hasn’t really snowed this year, so all this study on snow just makes Mr. Curiosity yearn for snow to play in.