________________ CM . . . . Volume I Number XI . . . . August 25, 1995

Snow Watch

Cheryl Archer. Illustrated by Pat Cupples.
Toronto: Kids Can Press. 56pp, paper, $9.95.
ISBN 1-55074-190-X

Subject Headings:
Snow-Juvenile literature.
Snow-Experiments-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3 - 6 / Ages 8 - 11.
Review by A. Edwardsson.


A snowflake that lands on your glove has just finished a journey that started with a speck of water in the clouds above you. Imagine if you could look inside a cloud and follow that journey from the very beginning.

Adults and children have different views on snow. The former dread the shovelling and dream of heading south to escape it. Children, on the other hand, are fascinated with it. Snow Watch encourages their interest, providing a multitude of facts and activities involving snow.

During the ten years she worked as a park naturalist, author Cheryl Archer conducted winter workshops and school programs for children. This book contains a variety of child-tested experiments that kids can conduct by themselves -- children could dip into this collection at any point and be hooked.

Each section of Snow Watch begins with a lively factual introduction ("Can you imagine having snow on the ground for nine months of the year? That's what it would be like if you lived in the Arctic.") The conversational style draws the reader through the text and encourages further questions.

Archer prefaces each experiment with a short list of common household equipment needed, poses several questions to direct the activity, and then follows each experiment with an explanation of the process. The index breaks the study of snow into topics (for example, "Glaciers," or "Plants in snow") that cover two to four pages each.

Illustrations by Pat Cupples, whose other works include Weatherwatch and Discover: Mysteries of the Past, adorn each page. Although the pictures often form a backdrop for the text, this is not a distraction. The delightful watercolour illustrations are lighthearted, yet accurate; the children and adults portrayed are from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, and are neither stereotyped nor too cartoon-like.

Other snow books available often concentrate strictly on the technical information. This book, with its interactive approach, will appeal to a variety of grades and would be a useful addition for elementary schools. It could be used to enhance the curriculum and would also interest leisure readers.

Highly recommended.

A. Edwardsson is in charge of the Children's Department at a branch of the Winnipeg Public Library. She has a Bachelor of Education degree and a Child Care Worker III certification, and is a member of the Manitoba branch of the Canadian Authors' Association.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © 1998 the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364