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Down, Down, Down: A Journey to the Bottom of the Sea (2009)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0618966366, Hardcover)Caldecott honoree Steve Jenkins offers young readers a quietly stunning story about the world below the watery surface in Down, Down, Down: A Journey to the Bottom of the Sea. With his incredible paper collage illustrations of sea creatures and informative text, Jenkins manages to plumbs the unfathomable depths of our oceans for the age 5-9 set in this perfect read-aloud and look closely book. Down, Down, Down captures the vastness, complexity and mysteriousness of the deep without over-simplifying the new research and astonishing discoveries. This oceanography lesson unfolds as a story in which the reader descends from the blue surface down nearly 36,000 feet (that’s seven miles down!) to the Marianas Trench, while meeting Flying Squids and Loosejaw Stoplight Fish along the way. This is an enchanting and informative choice for kids who loved the classic illustrations of Eric Carle, Lois Ehlert and Leo Lionni as pre-schoolers, but are ready to bump up to a nonfiction read. Children’s book collectors will surely want to get their hands on Down Down Down, too. --Lauren Nemroff
Caldecott Honor-winning Steve Jenkins provides a top-to-bottom look at the ocean, from birds and waves to thermal vents and ooze. Half the earth's surface is covered by water more than a mile deep, but most of this watery world is a mystery to us. In fact, more people have stood on the surface of the moon than have visited the deepest spot in the ocean.
Come along as we travel down, down, down, from the surface to the bottom of the sea. Along the way you can see jellyfish that flash like a neon sign, creatures with teeth so big, they can't close their mouths, and even a squid as long as a bus, which battles to the death with a sperm whale, the largest predator on earth. It'll be a journey you won't soon forget!
A Look Inside Down, Down, Down
A Q&A with Steve Jenkins, Author of Down, Down, Down
Q: How much research was involved in the creation of the book?
A: Lot's--I read ten or twelve books about ocean exploration and biology, borrowed or bought dozens of others with photos and illustrations of ocean animals, watched all of the BBC ocean-related TV productions (Blue Planet, Planet Earth, The Living Planet, The Life of Mammals--I feel like David Attenborough is my good friend). And of course I did a lot of internet research. So many deep-ocean discoveries are recent, and lots of things haven't made their way into print yet, at least not into books that I could find. There are a lot of high-quality web sites associated with universities or research organizations. One of the hardest parts was figuring out where to do the descent, once I'd decided to do a surface to sea floor journey. I wanted the water temperature, geology and animal life to be accurate for that specific location. Ultimately, I realized that if we were going to go on this trip, we really had to end up in the deepest spot in the sea.
Q: What was the most surprising thing you learned while working on Down, Down, Down?
A: Probably the thing that got me interested in the first place--the fact that we know so little about the oceans. The longest mountain range in the world--the mid-ocean ridge, which runs for more than 40,000 miles-- was unknown until the 1960s. There are undoubtedly large, still unknown life forms in the oceans.
Q: Which animal was the most challenging to construct?
A: The siphonophore--both lights on and lights off.
Q: What do you think accounts for both adults' and kids' long-abiding fascination with the ocean and its creatures?
A: As a species, we are intrigued with the unknown. It's one reason we've done so well, and inhabit almost every corner of the globe (at least where there's dry land). I think it's the fact that the ocean is at once so inviting (think: a nice day at the beach or a pleasant sailboat trip) and so terrifying (a storm at sea; the dark, cold depths and frightening creatures) makes it especially fascinating. And many of those deep-sea creatures are beyond anything we'd imagined.
Q: Are there certain things a parent/teacher/adult can do to keep the love of science alive in kids? As a parent, what do you do to encourage that love and curiosity in your own children?
A: Listen to their questions, and if you don’t know the answer, look it up together. Buy lots of nonfiction books! Or get them at the library, and read them together. Like so many things--diet, physical activity, a love of art or music--children pay more attention to what we do than what we say. So the first step in encouraging a love of science in children might be to cultivate an interest in it ourselves. And there is so much going on right now, so many amazing things being discovered, that it's not hard to become interested. Our family watches lots of nature programs, such as Richard Attenborough's BBC-produced documentaries. They are a great entry point to natural science.
(Photo © Tim Tucker)
(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 19 Apr 2011 08:39:05 -0400)
Provides a top-to-bottom look at the ocean, from birds and waves to thermal vents and ooze.
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