Thursday, October 8, 2009

Down Down Down: A Journey to the Bottom of the Sea

Booklist (April 1, 2009 (Vol. 105, No. 15))
Grades 2-4. In this plunge into the deep, Jenkins displays his usual keen awareness of what is fascinating about biology and imparts it without sensationalism—the facts speak for themselves. Light becomes an impossibility only a tiny fraction of the way down into the ocean, and the deeper this book goes, the darker the palette and the scarier and stranger the beast encountered. Sophisticated cut- and torn-paper collage-work fit the alien qualities of the subjects well; it’s equally at home capturing the tiered needlepoints of lizardfish teeth as it is delivering an impressive and illuminating display of bioluminescence. The scale of just how staggeringly deep the ocean is, and how little we know of much beyond what happens at the surface, is conveyed by sidebars on each page that drop precipitously from sea level to the ocean floor many miles below. Thorough endnotes give greater detail on each of the featured creatures and help make this a most welcome introduction to the sometimes-surprising world of marine biology.

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