SEA COWS, SHAMANS, AND SCURVY by Ann Arnold

SEA COWS, SHAMANS, AND SCURVY

Alaska’s First Naturalist: Georg Wilhelm Steller
Age Range: 12 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

Names of people, places and too many other details overwhelm this biography of naturalist Georg Steller. With no overview to set Steller in context or explain why he is worth reading about, this account opens with his birth and quickly turns into a dry catalog of facts about him and about Russia’s expeditions to Siberia and Alaska. Arnold has clearly done her research but less clearly defined her audience: Few of her intended readers will persist to the point when Steller sets off on explorations and his journal excerpts help bring the story to life. What reader will use the annotated bibliography that includes a 300-page university-press history of scurvy and vitamin C? In contrast to this zealous comprehensiveness, the book lacks a glossary. The small, artless illustrations add a note of charm but provide little additional information, while the maps lack scales and clarity. Steller, a remarkable person and scientist, is well worth learning about, but unfortunately this does not provide a compelling introduction. (appendix, timeline, notes, source notes, bibliography; index [not seen]) (Nonfiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Nov. 4th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-374-39947-4
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Frances Foster/Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2008




MORE BY ANN ARNOLD

ChildrenTHE ADVENTUROUS CHEF: ALEXIS SOYER by Ann Arnold
by Ann Arnold
ChildrenFIREHORSE MAX by Sara London
by Sara London