Antarctic Journal: Four Months at the Bottom of the World

Overview

It is the windiest, coldest, most forbidding region on earth, and I am heading straight for it.

Sketchbook in hand, an artist leaves home to spend four months in Antarctica. She hikes up glaciers, camps on deserted islands, and sees mirages of castles in the air. She sails past icebergs and humpback whales. And she fills her sketchbook with drawings of penguin chicks huddled in their nests and seals basking in the sun. Jennifer Dewey's sketches, photographs, journal entries, and...

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Overview

It is the windiest, coldest, most forbidding region on earth, and I am heading straight for it.

Sketchbook in hand, an artist leaves home to spend four months in Antarctica. She hikes up glaciers, camps on deserted islands, and sees mirages of castles in the air. She sails past icebergs and humpback whales. And she fills her sketchbook with drawings of penguin chicks huddled in their nests and seals basking in the sun. Jennifer Dewey's sketches, photographs, journal entries, and letters home let you see the last great wilderness on earth through the eyes of an artist at work.

Letters and journal entries from a visit to Antartica, the windiest, coldest, most forbidding region on earth.

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Editorial Reviews

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"It is the windiest, coldest, most forbidding region on earth, and I am heading straight for it." From the coldest and most isolated place in the world, one artist sees overwhelming beauty. Granted four months at an Antarctic research station, Jennifer Owings Dewey spent her time drawing and writing about her surroundings. The result is a wonderful compilation of art and wonder in the heart of nature...a chance for readers to see the last great wilderness on earth through the eyes of an artist at work.
Children's Literature
The Antarctic "is the windiest, coldest, most forbidding region on earth, and I am heading straight for it," explains this award-winning author and artist. Ms. Dewey spent four months at the bottom of the world, writing in her journal and sending letters home, sketching and taking photographs. Ms. Dewey's scientific credentials are not revealed, but this book was funded by the National Science Foundation and she has written several nature books. The book is a compilation of several daily entries, most based on scientific observation. Facts, colorfully vivid visual descriptions and revelations about wildlife are compelling, as are some hair-raising adventures. On Christmas Eve, for example, the author fell into a crack that opened while she was climbing a glacier to enjoy the view and the solitary stillness. Living in the Antarctic at Palmer Station was, in itself, a daily adventure. Short, hand-printed captions and an easy informality combine with a first-person narration to make this work inviting to children of all ages. Photographs and sketches help reveal the author's personality. Readers might pick up the book because it looks so inviting, then probably won't put it down. And, they will learn a lot. An extensive bibliography is included. 2001, HarperCollins, $16.95 and $16.89. Ages 7 up. Reviewer: Ellen R. Butts
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-Readers get a glimpse of an artist's four-month stay in Antarctica through her sketches and photos, journal entries, and letters home. Her personal experiences (having Ad lie penguins examine her typewriter, falling into a crevasse on a glacier) are interspersed with facts about the history, landforms, weather, and life of Antarctica. The combination of softly colored sketches and photos is effective, although the photos are small and some lack crispness. A great deal of fascinating information is included in the text, which flows easily from fact bites to narrative. The book is similar to Sophie Webb's My Season with Penguins: An Antarctic Journal (Houghton, 2000). Both artists spent one season in Antarctica learning, sketching, and writing. Both mix fact with personal experience. Because Webb is also a scientist and her interest is penguins, her book has a tighter focus. Dewey's title gives more general information about the continent. (Webb's book is assigned to the 500s; Dewey's to the 900s.) Neither title has an index, and, although both are short enough for researchers to skim, they are both meant to be read cover to cover. Libraries already owning Webb's book will want to consider Antarctic Journal as well because of its broader scope. Fans of Antarctica will want to read both.-Ellen Heath, Orchard School, Ridgewood, NJ Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
PLB: 0-06-028587-7 A gifted storyteller and nature observer shares a rare adventure in letters and illustration. Science author/illustrator Dewey (Rattlesnake Dance, 2000, etc.) spent four months in Antarctica as part of a National Science Foundation grant. The journal entries, letters, sketches, and photographs she sent to her family and friends have been gathered here in a lively, humorous, true-life science adventure that will capture the imagination of would-be scientists and armchair travelers alike. There are appealing colored-pencil sketches of Antarctic animals on every page, along with photographs and maps. Letters describe both humorous events (like the curious penguins of Litchfield Island coming to snatch her typewriter paper) as well as dangerous ones (she fell into a crevasse of a glacier up to her shoulders, and"stared below into a blue-green hole cut with facets like a diamond"). Beauty, danger, and awe are evident throughout. Not to be confused with Meredith Hooper's Antarctic Journal (2000). (bibliography) (Nonfiction. 8-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060285869
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/28/2001
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 64
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Jennifer Owings Dewey spent four month in Antarctica, a trip made possible by a grant from the National Science Foundation. There she sketched and photographed the wildlife and the stunning landscape, wrote letters home that she asked her friends and family to save, and kept a detailed journal of her experiences.

Jennifer Owings Dewey received the Orbis Pictus Award for Wildlife Rescue: The Worh of Dr. Kathleen Ramsay, the John Burroughs Award for Mud Matters, and the National Science Teachers Association Award for her body of work in the field of nonfiction for children. She has also written and illustrated Rattlesnake Dance. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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  • Posted April 5, 2012

    I really like this book I recommend this book to all ages.

    I really like this book I recommend this book to all ages.

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