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*Starred Review* Pairing particularly clear and engaging explanations with a mix of spare diagrams and close-up photos of snow crystals all presented in an evocative gray-blue color scheme this introduction to the white stuff will impart a solid understanding of how crystals and flakes grow in the clouds and how temperature and other factors on the way down further affect the marvelous diversity of their forms. Young readers expecting the customary array of lacy stars won't be disappointed but the dazzling and detailed close-ups also capture snow crystals in rarely seen shapes, from plates and columns to multilayered forms as complex as clockwork. With never a hint of hyperbole, the authors communicate such a contagious sense of wonder that few readers will be able to resist following the final pages' simple directions for constructing a handheld snowflake observation stage and rushing outside at the first sign of snow in hopes of taking a closer look at one of nature's most beautiful and ubiquitous phenomena. A perfect lead-in to Jacqueline Briggs Martin's Snowflake Bentley (1998).--Peters, John Copyright 2009 Booklist

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PreS-Gr 3-Simple sentences in large type offer basic information about the formation and structure of snow crystals while additional explanations and detail are presented in two sets of progressively smaller fonts. Aoyagi's watercolor and ink drawings show how a snow crystal develops from a tiny speck of soil, pollen, or other substances to become a complex six-sided structure. Numerous photographs of snow crystals reveal details of common shapes such as stars, plates, and columns. The images are large enough to share in a small-group setting. Instructions on how to catch and view snow crystals encourage readers to make their own observations. Libraries in areas where snow falls will definitely want to add this title to their collections, but it would enhance lessons on weather anywhere. A logical pairing would be with Jacqueline Martin's Snowflake Bentley (Houghton, 1998), the story of the man who pioneered methods to create photographs like the ones in this book.-Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.