Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Alison Lester ; illustrated by Alison Lester

Pub Date: Nov. 19th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-544-08895-5
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

A fictionalized personal narrative, based on the author’s own journey, that chronicles a little girl’s expedition to Antarctica.

Sophie’s father is the captain of the Aurora Australis, an icebreaker that travels to Mawson Station to deliver supplies and transport scientists and other researchers. On this last trip before winter makes the sea impassable, 9-year-old Sophie is invited along. In diary format, she explores the giant red ship and keeps a sharp eye out for penguins, seals, whales and, of course, icebergs. After 13 days, the Aurora Australis finally reaches its destination. At the research station, Sophie follows ropes to different buildings (helpful during the blizzard she gets caught in!) and learns how to live on Antarctica. After a few days, she makes the return trip back home. Interspersed with Lester’s thin line drawings of Sophie and the crew are actual photographs of the icebreaker and its surroundings. Lester also includes illustrations from Kids Antarctic Art, a traveling exhibition where students from around the world share their artistic interpretations of this cold, icy continent.

A novel approach that may seem cluttered at times but packs in plenty of facts, history and interesting tidbits and is told from a welcome, fresh perspective.

(maps, glossary) (Picture book. 6-9)