20 Sep 2013

First Frost... and a Book Giveaway!

By Guest Blogger Carolyn Fisher

Hi. I'm artist and author Carolyn Fisher. I write and illustrate picture books. Today I'm pinch-hitting on Sci/Why for Joan Marie Galat, who is gallivanting around Australia to look at stars in the southern hemisphere.

In my picture book The Snow Show, I wrote and illustrated a story about how snow is made.

When you're making a book, you do oodles of research. You brainstorm, you write, and then - if you're an illustrator like me - you draw zillions of sketches to plan out the pages. But because my editor gave me a 48-page limit on The Snow Show, there were lots of things that I left out.

Like how frost is made, for example. So today, in honour of September's dropping temperatures, I wanted to write about frost.

First, we have to talk about how snow grows. Here are some drawings that got rejected from The Snow Show:

Did you catch that? If the air temperature is below zero degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit), water vapour molecules can change to ice without turning to liquid first. That’s called DEPOSITION. Snow crystals form when floating water vapour molecules change by deposition directly into ice crystals.

There, I just summarized The Snow Show in three sentences. Can you believe it took me 48 pages to say that?

Frost crystals grow the same way: water vapour molecules in the air freeze by deposition onto plants, glass, or snow surfaces. (Sometimes frost forms beneath snow surfaces: that’s called depth hoar and it can cause avalanches if conditions are right. But that’s a whole other blog post!)

BOOK GIVEAWAY: Is it frosty where you are? What’s the average first fall frost date where you live? Post your answer in the comments by 12 noon on September 30th and I’ll draw a name for a free signed copy of The Snow Show.

For more about snow and making picture books, check out my website: www.carolynfisher.com
For a snow study guide, download my free snow activity kit pdf: http://www.carolynfisher.com/study-guides/

And if you’re Joan Marie Galat? Don’t bother entering the first fall frost date in Australia. We all know that it’s spring down there!

1 comment:

Jennifer Engel said...

First frost was two weeks ago here in Northern California! I'm ready for snow!! =)

Thanks for the giveaway! I hope to win!!