Monday, January 09, 2012

Into the Unknown

Into the Unknown: How Great Explorers Found Their Way by Land, Sea, and Air Stewart Ross, illustrated by Stephen Biesty

This is the only short-listed Cybils book that I haven't reviewed yet.

So, exploration really isn't my thing. Like survival stories, it's just something that I have a really hard time getting into. But... I really liked this book.

Basic format is a few pages on an explorer and their journey, and then a really cool fold-out with a map of their travels, a picture of their exploration craft and then (the super-cool part) a large cross-section of their exploration craft with excellent detail and labels.

The design is just really well done. In addition to the minute level of detail in the cross-sections (which people who aren't me can and will spend hours looking at) the background for each page is appropriate for the journey. So for Columbus it looks all parchment-y and for for Umberto Nobile's failed arctic explorations, it looks like a notebook.

I also like that the book covers the well-known and those who should be better known. Columbus, Magellan, Marco Polo, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin are here (but let's say "YAY!" to including space exploration, too) but also Mary Kingsely (who I originally learned about in another Cybils nominee, Scribbling Women) Auguste and Jacques Picard and Zheng He.

An excellent choice for exploration-minded readers to get lost in.

Book Provided by... my local library

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Ali B said...

I am adding this one to my son's queue. He loves books about exploration! A fold out map? He'll be in heaven.

MotherReader said...

Explorers are such a big topic for elementary school that I'm glad to see another book out there - especially a good one!