Friday, October 30, 2020

Put on Your Parkas to Read this Book...

Life in a Frozen World: Wildlife of Antarctica 
by Mary Batten; illus by Thomas Gonzalez
40 pages; ages 6-10
Peachtree Publishing Company, 2020

Antarctica is the coldest, driest place on Earth, writes Mary Batten. Though it is covered with ice, Antarctica is the largest desert on our planet. That’s because it never rains there and when it does snow, that snow becomes part of the ice sheet.

“Yet in this extreme environment, life thrives,” Batten writes. Beginning at the bottom of the food chain – with algae and krill – she shows how life has adapted to that frozen continent. Algae, for example, have adapted to the low light conditions below the sea ice. And those teeny tiny krill, each no larger than a thumb, swarm in numbers so high that they can be seen from space. They are keystone species, Batten explains, because they play a key role in Antarctica’s food chains.

Scientists from all over the world are studying Antarctica to learn how climate is threatening the habitats and creatures living there. They are also studying how Antarctica affects weather, ocean currents, and sea levels on our planet. 

Back matter includes a map of Antarctica, some fast facts, a glossary, and some resources for curious naturalists. Batten also includes an author’s note about her work with the Cousteau Society and why the chaos of a warming climate is such a critical issue for our future.

On the outside, this looks like any other picture book. But open it up and you find it’s an adventure that appeals to older kids. Though a bit text-dense for bedtime reading,  I feel this illustrated book is a perfect fit for teachers and homeschooling families looking for up-to-date, authoritative information about Antarctica. It hits the shelves in November – a perfect month for an adventure into ice and cold.

Thanks for dropping by today. On Monday we'll be hanging out at Marvelous Middle Grade Monday with other bloggers. It's over at Greg Pattridge's blog, Always in the Middle, so hop over to see what other people are reading. Review copy provided by the publisher.


  1. That beautiful cover should get the kiddos to open the book, then they will love what's inside, I suspect. I will have to check it out. Thanks for the heads up.

  2. My love of penguins started when I coached a softball team and their mascot was a penguin. Since then I've read every book I can get my hands on about these beautiful and unusual creatures. I hadn't seen this book yet, but I'll be sure to track down a copy for my collection. Thanks for featuring on MMGM.

  3. Sounds like a great book and perfect for our change of season to colder weather.

  4. Gorgeous cover. When I look at how pristine, hearty and delicate the life is in a place like the Antarctic, it makes me realize how connected we are to the animals/mineral kingdoms. If they don't exist, we don't. I have a grandson who would love this book!

  5. This book sounds wonderful and fascinating! Thank you so much for sharing it!