The two things I immediately loved about The Big Book of Antarctica were the amazing photographs on every page – and there are over fifty pages – and the fact that it is a big book which helps to give a sense of the majesty and beauty of Antarctica.
The photographs are overlaid with two or three sentences of text giving information about that particular photo. The unique geography and climate of Antarctica is discussed over several pages with a map showing the main features of Antarctica including the enormous ice shelves. There are also some pages on the early Antarctic explorers as well as the importance of the whaling industry in Antarctic history.
Approximately one third of the book is devoted to the unique birds and animals of Antarctica. I really enjoyed seeing the photographs of the individual penguin and seal species and learning about how they have adapted to living in such an inhospitable place. Climate change, and the impact of the shrinking Antarctic ice sheet is touched on as well as the popularity of Antarctic tourism.
The author, Charles Hope, is Australian and has written many other non-fiction titles for children. This formula of good quality photos and small chunks of text is a wonderful way to spark interest in a subject for children aged six to ten.
The Big Book of Antarctica
By Charles Hope
Published by Wild Dog Books