The Children’s Book Review | March 21, 2020
Written by Liz O’Connell and Arin Underwood
Illustrated by Arin Underwood
Age Range: 5 and up
Paperback: 36 pages
Publisher: WonderVisions (February 28, 2020)
What to expect: Arctic Fox, Arctic Adventure, Wild Animals
Based on the research of biologist Eva Fuglei, Liz O’Connell and Arin Underwood have combined their talents and love of Arctic science to create an engaging picture book that is both educational and enjoyable.
Research scientists humanely trap, weigh, and attach a satellite collar to a four-pound blue morph arctic fox that they name Anna. The collar will send a signal to the scientists so that they can track and study her journey across the Arctic as she hunts for food. As spring thaws the melting ice, she travels for days and days, trekking 2,700 incredible miles. The scientists’ tracking ends when her collar falls off on the shore of Ellesmere Island. It is here that she finds her mate and starts a family of her own.
The pen and watercolor illustrations convey the northern landscape in all its wild glory. A multitude of wild animals, both from land and sea, grace the pages. The beautiful colors of the sky particularly stand out, especially on the pages that show the aurora borealis and the setting sun. The facts included in the end pages on the arctic fox and climate change turn this story into a genuinely educational resource. There is also an Arctic Field Guide that shows an image and the name of each animal that Anna encounters while on her journey, providing further entertainment when readers are encouraged to go back through the book to spy each one.
Anna Across the Arctic is a peaceful and enriching picture book that will greatly appeal to any young fan of animals, science, or non-fiction!
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About the Author
Liz O’Connell, an award-winning multi-media artist and writer, produces videos for TV broadcast and web-viewing. As a principal investigator for National Science Foundation project, Science in Alaska: Using Multimedia to Support Science Education, she researched ways to inform the public about on-going Arctic science. Alaska is her home.
About the Illustrator
Arin Underwood, born and raised in Alaska, works as a commercial salmon fisherwoman and artist. She earned her Bachelor of Science at the University of Alaska and Master of Science at the University of Tromsø, Norway, where she studied seabirds and ecology in the high Arctic Svalbard Archipelago.
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