Reading books together as a family is the best way to connect. We connect with each other, with the books we read, and with the big ideas we encounter there.

In fact, there are four steps I like best when it comes to sharing books with our kids:

  1. Read aloud
  2. Share an experience around the book
  3. Talk about it
  4. Meet the author or illustrator

The first 3 steps are the heart of family book culture. The 4th is an unforgettable way to seal the reading of a book in your child’s memory (and we do it every month at Read-Aloud Revival Premium.)

Do these four steps in your family, and you may find that your kids start to enjoy reading more than they ever have. They may start to pick up books more often in their free time, and to count your read-aloud sessions as some of their favorite family memories.

Read with us?

This month at Read-Aloud Revival, we’re reading Snowflake Bentley by Jacquline Briggs Martin in our Premium Member Family Book Club. Whether you join Premium Membership or not, we’d love to have you read along with us.

Snowflake Bentley is an award-winning picture book that tells the true story of Wilson Bentley from the time he was a small boy in Vermont through his groundbreaking photographs of snowflakes.

It’s an excellent book for all ages, and I want you to have our Book Club Guide so you can read along with us!

I’ll walk you through the 4 steps of our Family book Club below, but first grab the printable version of this FREE Book Club Guide by popping your email into the box below.

Go ahead and do it now… then keep reading ⬇︎

Get the FREE Family Book Club Guide

You'll get the Snowflake Bentley Family Book Club Guide right away

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Here’s a video where I walk you through these four steps:

This month we’ll reading Snowflake Bentleythe true award-winning story of the man who first photography snowflakes and awakened the world to their unique beauty.

Written in lyrical text and illustrated with hand-painted woodcuts, this book is excellent for all ages.

When you think about sharing an experience, the key is to keep it simple.

I don’t mean go to the craft store and pick up supplies for an art project based on the story, or plan out a themed snack.

You just want to offer your kids a memorable experience with the book– one that they’ll look back on fondly.

Choose one (or more!) of these experiences to share with your kids:

Hot Cocoa Read-Aloud

Mix up some hot cocoa (don’t forget the marshmallows!) and read Snowflake Bentley. Take some extra time to admire Mary Azarian’s handprinted wood cut illustrations. Make sure to mention that this is a biography— a true story.

For a little extra fun, get your own catalog of Wilson Bentley’s best 72 photographs in the Dover book, Snowflakes in Photographs.

Our community is doing this on Thursday, January 24th, but you can do it any day you’d like!

Catch Snowflakes

If you can, catch some snow crystals for a closer look. Set a dark piece of cardboard or foam core board outside to get cold for about 10 minutes before you begin. The smallest bits of snow are crystals—use your microscope to take a closer look before they melt.

See The Story of Snow by Mark Cassino and Jon Nelson for more tips.

Watch “The Snowflake Man”

This excellent 8-minute documentary about Wilson Bentley is worth watching with the whole family. Lovely historical footage you won’t want to miss:

Ask any of the following questions to spark a conversation.

You don’t need to have literary know-how to do this. If you know how to ask your kids about how their day was, you know how to talk with your kids about books.

  • What did Wilson Bentley want most of all?
  • Who does Wilson Bentley remind you of?
  • Which page in the book was most enticing to you? Was it the illustrations or the words on that page that drew you in? Or both?
  • What surprised you about Willam Bentley’s story?
  • What is something you don’t want to forget about Snowflake Bentley?
  • If you got to pick one word to describe what this book is about, which word would you choose? (some ideas to get you started: snow, science, perseverance, curiosity) Why did you choose that word?

On January 30th, your kids can meet the author of Snowflake Bentley, Jacquline Briggs Martin, in RAR Premium Membership.

She’ll be live on video in Premium, answering your kids’ questions and giving us all a behind-the-scenes peek into creating Snowflake Bentley. 

You’ll need to join RAR Premium when we open enrollment January 15-21 in order to join us.

There’s more where that came from…

The printable Family Book Club Guide has a few more ideas, too, so you definitely want to print that out if you haven’t yet:

Get the FREE Family Book Club Guide

You'll get the Snowflake Bentley Family Book Club Guide right away

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I think you’ll be delighted by what happens when you share a book with your kids following these four simple steps.

Read aloud. Share an experience. Talk about it. And meet the author. This is a magical recipe to nurturing family bonds and falling deeper in love with books.

It’s simple. It’s meaningful. Maybe even unforgettable.

I hope you read along with us. If you love it, you’re in the right place, and you’ll want to join us in Read-Aloud Revival Premium Membership. We have this much fun every single month!

More free resources and booklists

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