Two words that were seldom, if ever, spoken in New Orleans, but are occasionally heard in Tennessee were announced earlier this week. Snow Day! These seven letters pumped joy into the hearts of school children and made me pretty happy, too. From experience, I know a snow day sure beats the heck out of a hurricane evacuation day.
Before moving to Tennessee, I had only seen snow a few times in my childhood and once in New Orleans (Christmas Day 2004).
Earlier this week, I was sitting at my computer watching the snow through my window thinking, this is definitely a new experience for me. Large flakes started drifting down and I put my coat on and went back outside in a flash. I held out my hands and caught snowflakes in my red gloves. For the first time in my life, I saw the shape of a snowflake. My first thought was, “Wow! It really does look like they say in books.” My second thought was, “I feel like Snowflake Bentley.”
If you are a children’s book writer or reader, you probably know that Snowflake Bentley is the 1999 Caldecott winning biography by Jacqueline Briggs Martin. Wilson A. Bentley (1865-1931) developed a technique to photograph snowflakes. He is the person who actually proved that no two are alike. This wasn’t a quick process. It took years of trial and error. Sort of like working towards publication.
Do you ever think of yourself as a fictional character, or in this case, a real live person from history, in one of your favorite books?