SEA-FARI DEEP by Nancy Woodman


Age Range: 10 - 14
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The Jason Project is familiar to many Internet surfers, who have watched and even interacted with scientists off the coast of Baja California, in Mexico, as they dive to the ocean floor to explore deep sea vents, and the creatures which form near them, including the astounding bacteria that use chemical energy to make sugar. Dusty, in a breathless, first-person narration (“ ‘Wow!’ I gasped, ‘Awesome!’ “), explores the bottom of the sea with the crew of the Jason Project. Students use cameras aboard the deep-diving mini-submarine, Turtle, and even operate an undersea robot, Jason. The adventure is splendid, with detailed diagrams and fascinating information; the narration is often banal: “ ‘It sounds like an ecosystem that’s really different from the one we live in,’ I thought out loud.” In fact, the framing of questions and facts in dialogue (“ ‘VÇronique, we learned in school that water turns into a gas when it boils at 212¯F (100¯C). Why is the 572¯F water coming out of the smoker still liquid?’ I asked”) is overly tricky and renders the text difficult to follow. The layout combines text, pastels, watercolors, full-color photographs, and a border; if such a busy, cluttered format occasionally obscures the text for younger readers, it may attract MTV-age readers accustomed to the frantic pace of web pages. (maps, glossary) (Picture book. 10-14)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-7922-7340-0
Page count: 47pp
Publisher: National Geographic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1999