The Book That Made Me: Philip Reeve 16/10/19
Publisher: Flying Eye Book
In August 1914, Ernest Shackleton and his brave crew set out to cross the frozen wastes of Antarctica, in what was to be the last expedition of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. Ahead of them lay unimaginable danger - ferocious seas, uncharted mountains, ice and snow. This is the true story of how Shackleton and his companions endured the hardships they faced, and ultimately managed to survive their perilous adventure.
To mark the 100th anniversary of the expedition, illustrator William Gill has created a beautiful and sophisticated non-fiction book for children, which retells Shackleton's story. Informative text is combined with a wealth of detailed coloured-pencil drawings in Gill's distinctive style, which create a strong sense of atmosphere. Each page layout is beautifully designed, making clever use of white space that itself seems to evoke the bleak, frozen wastelands of the Antarctic landscape.
The tale of a long-ago, failed Antarctic journey may seem a niche subject for a children's book, but there is plenty here to capture the imagination. Young readers will be intrigued by the heroism of Shackleton and his crew, as well as attracted by some of the quirkier elements, such as the individual drawings of all 99 of Shackleton's sled dogs. Carefully-researched, with lots of factual detail and a useful glossary of terms, this is an unusual, thought-provoking and very attractive work of non-fiction.