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Nine-year-old Sophie is going on a month-long voyage to Antarctica, with her dad, the captain of an icebreaker. Sailing the frozen seas round-trip from Australia to Mawson Station in the South Pole, Sophie recounts the adventure of a lifetime in her own words, illustrations, and color photographs. She’ll show us icebergs, penguins, seals, and whales! It’s a dangerous journey, but Sophie is well prepared for the thrills and chills that await her on top of the world.
This friendly, informative, and beautifully presented picture book is based on the author’s own experiences and shows the wonder of Antarctica through a child’s eyes.
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Australian author Alison Lester is perhaps best known for her picture books. However, she captivated her audience with her first novel, The Quicksand Pony. In a starred review, School Library Journal called it “a gripping adventure story, a tale of survival, an engaging mystery, a touching animal story, and a family saga.”From School Library Journal:
K-Gr 4-In this stimulating, well-integrated mixture of text and images, a fictional nine-year-old accompanies her dad, the captain of the Aurora Australis, as he delivers people and supplies to Mawson Station in Antarctica. Lester based the book on her own six-week excursion on the vessel. She combines sketches and paintings of Sophie-peeking out from her curtained berth or finding her way back to the station in a blizzard using rope-with rubber stamps, photographs, and art by children, received in response to emails she sent during her journey. Sophie's journal entries make up the text. There is great child appeal in the images, harsh conditions, and survival strategies, as well as in the behavior of animals. Diagrams depict ship parts and how icebergs are made; captioned postage stamps describe the fates of four early explorers. Occasional sequential photographs, sometimes grouped as 20 to 25 rectangles to a page, reveal the multiple moods of icebergs and sunsets and convey the sense that this adventure really happened. Endpapers contain geographical and historical tidbits and maps, first with a traditional view, where Antarctica is the southern-most point, and then an aerial view. This subject matter is similar to Sophie Webb's My Season With Penguins (Houghton Harcourt, 2000) and Jennifer Owings Dewey's Antarctic Journal (HarperCollins, 2001), though both of those volumes are rather dense for the picture-book format.-Wendy Lukehart, District of Columbia Public Libraryα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journal. LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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