INTO THE ICE by Lynn Curlee

INTO THE ICE

The Story of Arctic Exploration
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 12

KIRKUS REVIEW

From Curlee (Ships of the Air, 1996, etc.), a riveting history of Arctic exploration that begins, appropriately, with the Inuit, who moved into that bleak and treacherous land after the Ice Age. With little documented history of that period, the narrative plunges ahead to the stories of Pytheas, a Greek merchant of the fourth century b.c., and Saint Brendan, the Irish monk who plied the North Atlantic waters in an oxhide boat in a.d. 550, discovering icebergs and perhaps Iceland. Next came the Norsemen on their way to Vinland in North America around a.d. 1000, followed by the late 16th-century English and Dutch explorers hoping to reach China (including John Davis and his ships Sunneshine and Mooneshine). Curlee chronicles the efforts of the merchants and whalers, the labors for fortune and glory, the search for the northern passages, the misery of scurvy and arctic fever. He dwells on Fridtjof Nansen’s efforts, highlights the 1845 disappearance of Sir John Franklin’s party, and provides a balanced look at the quest for the North Pole featuring Peary and Cook and their vainglorious (and unwarranted) claims. Curlee rounds out this entertaining, informed history with unsensationalized episodes of cannibalism and toes snapping off to keep readers glued to the pages, and hypnotic, elemental paintings that are just as exquisite as those in his first book. (map, chronology, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: March 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-395-83013-3
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1998




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