Title: The First Book of the Antarcticthe first book of the antarctic
Author: J. B. Icenhower
Pages: 67
Recommended Ages: 8-12
Star Rating: ★★★★

As a kid, I was fascinated by Alaska. In my mind it was a land dominated by Alaskan huskies, polar bears, and seal bacon. All of its inhabitants wore coats made of furry skin. Most were Eskimos. (Inhabitants, not coats.)

I loved stories set in the vast expanse of snow and igloos. And I would have loved The First Book of the Antarctic. True, it is set on the opposite end of the world. But it involved the same basic ingredients – fur parkas and teams of yapping sled dogs.

On a basic level, The First Book of the Antarctic contains everything your children will want to know about Antarctica – its terrain, its weather, the plants and animals that live there, the explorers who have braved its elements, and the scientific research that is being done there. Illustrations complement the text and illuminate its meaning.


The book begins with this paragraph.

“Millions of years ago Antarctica was green with forests. Its climate was somewhat like that of northern California today. Great animals walked and swam in its swamps, Today there are almost no plants in Antarctica, The land is in the middle of an ice age. Except for a few mountain peaks and exposed rocks, it is completely covered by a cap of ice and snow that is over a mile thick in some places.” [pg. 11]

This is the only evolutionary reference in the entire book. The last paragraph concludes,

“Perhaps, in time, some such agreement will be reached concerning the continent itself. It may be that Antarctica will some day become a great international laboratory for the scientific exploration of our earth and its atmosphere. If ever the nations agree to share this frozen, treasure-filled desert at the bottom of the world, it could become the frontier for a new union of nations, a union based on mankind’s endless search for knowledge of himself and the world he lives in.” [pg. 66]

Conclusion. A good resource.

Review © 2014 Laura Verret

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