About the Author
Fran Hodgkins is the author of The Orphan Seal, winner of the Henry Bergh Children's Book Award, presented by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. This is Fran Hodgkins's first Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science book. She lives in Maryland.
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Champions of the Ocean is a recipient of the prestigious Mom's Choice Award. The Mom's Choice Awards® honors excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. An esteemed panel of judges includes education, media and other experts as well as parents, children, librarians, performing artists, producers, medical and business professionals, authors, scientists and others. A sampling of the panel members includes: Dr. Twila C. Liggett, ten-time Emmy-winner, professor and founder of PBS's Reading Rainbow; Julie Aigner-Clark, Creator of Baby Einstein and The Safe Side Project; Jodee Blanco, New York Times best-selling Author; LeAnn Thieman, motivational speaker and coauthor of seven Chicken Soup For The Soul books; and Tara Paterson, Certified Parent Coach and founder of the Mom's Choice Awards. Parents and educators look for the Mom's Choice Awards seal in selecting quality materials and products for children and families.
Have you ever wished that you could see what it like on the ocean floor? Earlier this year I had the privilege of reviewing the first book in this series, Earth Heroes: Champions of the Wilderness by Bruce and Carol L. Malnor. In this second book, author Fran Hodgkins takes eight remarkable explorers of the ocean and follows their lives, both as children and adults, to show how they have shaped the way in which we view our planet's largest frontier. Some of them may be familiar, such as William Beebe, who was the first to dive in the bathysphere, and, of course, Jacques Cousteau, who invented SCUBA. Others may not be as well known, but they have also made a lasting contribution to the world of sea exploration. They include Archie Carr who worked with sea turtles, Margaret Owings who crusaded for sea otters, Eugenie Clark who was known as the "shark lady," Roger Payne who recorded the songs of whales, Sylvia Earle who walked on the ocean floor in a "Jim suit," and Tierney Thys who uses high-tech equipment to study the huge ocean sunfish. These accounts are very well written and quite interesting to read. Also, they are nicely illustrated by artist Cris Arbo's shaded black and white drawings along with numerous photographs. Each chapter concludes with a two-page summary of "fast facts" providing a "ripples of influence" section showing how each person was influence by others and in turn was an influence to others, and a timeline of the person's life put into a historical context. In the back, there are suggestions on what youngsters can do to help the oceans, a bibliography for further information, and an index. Parents who are concerned about the language in their children's books may want to know that there is a single time where one of the subjects uses the exclamation "My God." Otherwise, there is nothing objectionable. Reading works like this will help young people be more environmentally conscious by pointing out that everything we do affects life in the sea which in turn affects what happens over all the earth. The third book in Dawn Publication's series "Earth Heroes" entitled Earth Heroes: Champions of Wildlife is due out in the Spring of 2010.