From School Library Journal
Grade 2-4-Antarctic ice breaks apart and melts during the long days of the short summer season, allowing renewal of the food supply for the region's water animals. Wu's handsome photographs take viewers beneath the ice and into the water as well as onto the icy shore in this brief introduction to some of the animals living here year-round or migrating for the season. Sea stars, urchins, and jellyfish glow on the ocean floor, sometimes eating one another and also waiting for the algae growing under the sunlit ice. The simple text explains how the algae, along with tiny amphipods, phytoplankton, and krill, flourish in the summer to be eaten by fish and larger animals and details how creatures like Weddell seals, and emperor and Adlie penguins give birth to their young on the sea ice. Only the fish, mentioned several times, never come into view except for one lone hider. Splendid shots show the larger animals on land with their offspring or swimming beneath the widening sea. The explanations of seasonal change, the food chain, and life cycles and behavior are a sketchy but adequate introduction to life in this challenging environment. This book has a bit more information than Bruce McMillan's Summer Ice: Life along the Antarctic Peninsula (Houghton, 1995). The fine camera work, and the pairing of large and small photographs on black pages provide many appealing views and a striking sense of this stark landscape and watery world.Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 2-4. Wu's clear, colorful photographs of animals are the highlight of this heavily illustrated presentation about Antarctic wildlife on, around, and under the ice. The book introduces four animals: the Weddell seal, Orca whale, Adelie penguin, and emperor penguin. The focus moves back and forth among the animals over the course of a year, concentrating on the summer. When the ice melts and cracks, a baby seal is born, Adelie penguin eggs are laid and hatched, and algae and phytoplankton grow, providing food for the animals. Although the book could be read aloud to younger children, they might be confused by the quick shifts from one animal to another, particularly the two species of penguins. Visually attractive supplementary material for school units on Antarctica. Carolyn PhelanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved