Why Snowflake?

27 February 2018 by Suyen Hu

People often ask us why we call ourselves Snowflake Books? They feel Snowflakes don’t refer to anything we do as children’s book publishers. Sometimes we simply ask them back: ‘Does an Apple have anything to do with computers?’ but actually the many qualities of the snowflake inspire the way we make our books.

If you know a bit about the history of snowflakes, you may have learnt that in 135BC during the Han dynasty in China, scholars like Hun Ying had already discovered that flowers have five petals and snowflakes have six parts! So in Chinese culture snowflakes take us right back in history where many of our stories come from. With all the love for snowflakes over the centuries and over the world, people are attracted by their delicate yet firm structure and shining crystal appearance. Snowflakes are beautiful, timeless, familiar yet mysterious, like our stories. The most important feature of snowflakes is that while all of them are different, all of them have something in common.

Like the snowflakes that start from a plain drop of water from the dusts, our ideas of the world and ourselves are originated from the mundane experience. Evaporation, condensation and precipitation; a snowflake goes through all these hard physical transformations to return to the earth with the most incredibly elegant geometrical shapes outwitting a mathematician’s logical calculations. Could this be one of the reasons that we, from toddlers to the elderly, from the craftsman to the scientists are all fascinated by this wonderful tiny piece of ice?

Nature crafts snowflakes as our brains do to our ideas. It took 40 years for John Harrison to make the first marine clock that solved the longitude problem by the designing and making of every tiny piece of springs and cogs by his single pair of hands. After nearly 250 years, the Harrison clock can still tell precisely the time with the accuracy of one third of second a day. Snowflake books strives to offer a stage for this fine craftsmanship of book making to be seen and appreciated by all.