From Australia's inaugural Children's Laureate, Alison Lester, comes her latest picture book - Sophie Scott Goes South. This is a picture book aimed at older readers which is brimming with information presented in a fabulously exciting manner. It is sure to spark curiosity.
Based on Alison's own real life adventure to Antarctica, Sophie Scott Goes South delights, informs and entertains as it whisks us along on Sophie's journey deep in to the southern hemisphere.
Sophie is just nine years old, and it is her diary that scoops us up on her adventure of a lifetime to some where truly extraordinary. As she sets sail on her Dad's ship, the Aurora Australis, the reader accompanies her on the two week journey to their destination taking us through blizzards, ice bergs and seal spotting.
"As we head towards Antarctica it feels as though we are entering an icy kingdom and the icebergs are guarding it."
Sophie describes everything for us - from the crew on board the gigantic ship, to life in the Red Shed at Mawson station. I love that this is told in a diary format allowing for a visual feast of taped on photographs, little scribbles from Sophie and a gorgeous array of illustrations.
During Alison's trip to Antarctica in 2005, thousands of children responded to her online diaries with some gorgeous illustrations - some of which have been used in this picture book! This truly is an inspiring book the reach of which leaps well beyond its physical pages.
A great place to stop after reading this would be the Australian Government's own website dedicated to the research on Antarctica. Eager readers can see up to the date photographs and webcams of not only the Aurora and Mawson, but also the other research stations. They've even set up a dedicated classroom activities page.