Tuesday 29 May 2012

150. Sophie Scott Goes South by Alison Lester

Sophie Scott Goes South by Alison Lester
Published May 2012 Penguin

From the publisher:

Sophie Scott is only nine years old, but she's going to Antarctica on an icebreaker with her dad, the ship's captain. During the voyage to Mawson Station and back, Sophie keeps a diary. She sees icebergs, penguins, seals and whales. She makes new friends, experiences the southern lights and even becomes stranded in a blizzard!

Visit Antarctica without leaving your loungeroom.  Alison Lester visited Mawson Station in Antarctica in 2007, on this trip she emailed schools and families around the world describing her experiences.  Children then drew pictures in response to her stories and sent her copies of their work.  These pictures have been exhibited around Australia, and some of them are included in this book.  The book is a mix of Alison's illustrations, children's art work and photographs.

The story follows Sophie on her 30 day round trip to Antarctica on the Aurora Australis, where her father Sam Scott is the captain.  We get detailed information about the ship, snap shots of her daily life, and information on her surroundings that Sophie learns throughout her trip.  There are days when it is too rough to go outside and then there are days of glorious sunshine (although it's still only -4C).  She sees penguins, seals and whales, as well as so many kinds of icebergs.

Her time on land in Antarctica is short, but we have a quick trip around the Red Shed where the Mawson people live, and she goes on a drive to the plateau in a Hagglund, a kind of snowmobile, and experience a whiteout and the aurora australis (the southern lights).

I liked this book, and I found it really interesting.  I am left with the question, is it fiction or non fiction?  It probably doesn't matter (except for people that have to catalogue it!), I guess it's a fictional story based on fact, so it will appeal to readers who like non fiction, but want to read a story.  The only sticking point with this book is the amount of text, for what is essentially a picture book.  I have already had the comment that it's too wordy, and that it will be difficult to use in the classroom.  See below for a look at the inside.

The endpapers are also very cool, with two different kinds of maps at front and back and Antarctic facts on both.

Here's a look at the front end papers.

There are obviously reasons why some may pick up this book, and be unsure of where to put it, and how to use it, but I think there are more reasons why you should choose it for your library.  Antarctica is an amazing part of the world that is so close, but so far.  Very few people will ever get the chance to see it for themselves, so it's only through books like this that we get to experience the wonder.

Who will like this book: Boys and Girls age 6+
Read it if you like: learning something from a picture book

No comments:

Post a Comment