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Monday, March 6, 2017

Best In Snow, by April Pulley Sayre. Beach Lane Books, Simon and Schuster. 2017. $23.99 ages 3 and up

"Another freeze.

Another b r e e z e.

Another cloud.

It snows.

And another snowflake
lands ... "

Our newspaper this morning calls it a 'winter wallop'. Forecasters on television and on Facebook are calling it a 'significant snow storm'. As I looked out my front window at the gloom and fog, I noticed a new book in my mailbox. I am always keen to see what has arrived in the morning mail, so out I went to get the book, and the rest of the mail. Surprise ... it felt quite warm yet. No wonder they are saying we will have freezing rain first. Another surprise ... the book is called BEST IN SNOW. What are the chances? Thanks to everyone at Simon & Schuster for sending it to me so that I can share it with you.

It is quite stunning, and that is no surprise. I am a huge fan of Ms. Sayre - her incredible photography, and her skill with scientific writing. I wish I could do just one of those things as proficiently as she does both. This companion to her fabulous Raindrops Roll (Beach Lane, 2015) is a book that deserves a place in school and personal libraries. The verse is as exquisite as the beauty found in her magical images of a world covered with the 'white stuff'.

I have to admit that I don't mind that we are expecting snow today. It is, after all, early March and not the least bit unusual to have a storm at this time of year. Maybe it's because I'm retired and I don't need to be out in it; I think it has more to do with the beauty of the season. Despite the cold temperatures associated with it's arrival, there is also such splendor. Ms. Sayre is not immune to that. Her photographs are inviting and telling. Imagine the child who has never experienced snow seeing it through this accomplished artist's eyes! 

The closing two-page spread shares the 'secrets of snow' in short paragraphs that follow along with the included text and explain the way snow falls and forms.

"Wind sifts. Snow drifts.

On extremely cold, sunny days, snow may sparkle as it falls. Snow sparkle is light that bounces off the flat faces of snow and ice crystals. Older fallen snow constantly changes. Wind scours the snow's surface. It lifts fine snow particles, sorts them, and moves them to new places. Wind-driven snow may pile up, forming drifts."

A resource list for further reading is also included.

Snow is on our radar today, and there is nothing for us to do but enjoy its beauty - and stay off windblown highways! Be safe if you have to travel. Stay home if you can.

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