The Snow Man : A True Story

The Snow Man : A True Story
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Release Date
October 03, 2023
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Meet the man living alone in the mountains whose hobby of measuring snowfall led to a global understanding of climate change in this nonfiction picture book from celebrated mother-son team Jonah and Jeanette Winter.

When billy barr came to the mountains as a young man, his only companions were a skunk and a pine marten. He needed something to fill the hours. So he began measuring the snow that fell. Day after day, and year after year, he measured.

As he grew older, he noticed something: the snow was disappearing. It arrived later, melted sooner, and there wasn’t as much of it. He shared his records with a local scientist, who shared them with other scientists, until his measurements were used by scientists all over the world studying climate change. Thanks to his curiosity, groundbreaking data was gathered that still helps us today!

Editor review

1 review
Interesting and Inspiring
Overall rating
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Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Learning Value
The Snow Man follows the story of billy barr (he does not capitalize his name), an unassuming man who finds solace in the solitude of the Rocky Mountains. His companions are a skunk and a pine marten, the only residents of the abandoned shack he calls home. Bored and cut off from society, Billy turns to documenting the area's snowfall, diligently filling notebooks with daily observations of temperature and snowfall. He notices changes in animal behavior, like their hibernation patterns, which become irrefutable evidence of climate change's impact.

What I Liked: I enjoyed reading this non-fiction book about an ordinary man who made a big impact. Billy's seemingly simple act of recording snowfall contributes to significant research, a testament to the impact anyone can have. The concluding pages delving into billy's past give readers insight into how billy ended up in Colorado and how he was able to give his research to scientists. The book's illustrations are stunning, awash in blues and purples that perfectly capture the beauty of wintery landscapes.

I recommend The Snow Man for readers who appreciate non-fiction and are interested in climate change.
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