TRAPPED BY THE ICE! by Michael McCurdy


Shackleton's Amazing Antarctic Adventure
by & illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 10
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 McCurdy (The Old Man and the Fiddle, 1992, etc.) switches from his familiar woodcut style to realistic paintings of landscapes, ice, and ocean in a retelling of Sir Ernest Shackleton's famous expedition. It was 1915 when, during Shackleton's attempt to cross the polar ice cap, the Endurance became trapped in ice, soon to be crushed and sunk. McCurdy covers the desperate problems faced by the crew: how to survive without the ship; how to find food while they waited for open water; how they saved a sleeping crewman when their solid perch cracked in two during the night. Frightening voyages in lifeboats and a near-impossible climb on a snow-covered mountain are part of the story; a party of three makes it to a whaling station on South Georgia Island, and no men are lost. The telling is clear and laced with excellent detail, but the picture-book format is less than ideal, requiring an author's note, foreword, and afterword for many of the details; further, the older audience for which the material has the most appeal may be uncomfortable with the format. Although McCurdy's galvanizing enthusiasm comes across on every page, the pictures- -and the bleak, unchanging landscape--don't communicate the cold nor the toll that time and the elements took on the men's clothing and faces. Still, aspects of this are riveting, and it will certainly lead readers into longer, more detailed accounts of this two-year expedition. (map, bibliography, index) (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-8027-8438-0
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Walker
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 1997


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