Monday, June 19, 2017

Best in Snow

Best in Snow
written by April Pulley Sayre
2016 (Beach Lane Books)
Source: Orange County Public Library

Water seeps. Crystals feather as ice creeps.

This exquisitely photographed picture book begins with a heron standing on one leg on the snowy ground. It's like he's standing watch and waiting for the snow to come again. With the ingredients of cold air, wind, and a cloud, the skies cut loose. But it's not simply snowing. It's sailing. The vivid verbs give great detail and create visuals. The snow lands on a squirrel's nose and on a duck's wings. It highlights the shapes of the branches of a tree. Sometimes clingy, the snow is shifted and drifted by the wind. There's a glorious photograph of a tree covered in ice and snow against a blue sunny sky with puffy clouds. Speaking of ice, there are photos of crystals with feather shapes and icicles. As the temperature warms, the icicles get longer and longer. The ground gets mushy and slushy. Then another freeze arrives and the cycle starts all over again.

Let's start with the title. Clever, clever! Then you get these photographs that you just ooh and aw over again and again. The text is sparse, but conveys so much. There's a ton of science going on and that's explained in the back matter notes. And the writing. The vivid verbs and the rhyming. It takes a lot of skill to pull both of those off in short sentences. When you study weather in primary grade levels, you'll want a copy of Best in Snow.

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