Wrapping up the big chill

23rd November 1995 at 00:00
Explore Antarctica, By Louise Crossley, Cambridge University Press Pounds 24.95. 0 521 49591 1. Pounds 12.95. 0 521 45566 9, Age range 11 plus

The author of Explore Antarctica, Louise Crossley, worked for the Australian Antarctic Division as expedition leader and station leader at Mawson Antarctic Base and her book must rank alongside the very best on the subject.

By the end, the reader is left with a real understanding of how this continent's landscape and wildlife can evoke an intense emotional response from those who study it at first-hand. The pervading message is that carefully researched management of Antarctica is essential if we are to protect an environment which could be the key to the long-term survival of our species.

The seven chapters (a continent takes shape, ice and weather, human discovery of Antarctica, living in the freezer, humans in a hostile environment, managing Antarctica, and issues for the future) use frequent sub-headings, with rarely more than two paragraphs in each section. This is matched by carefully considered phraseology, which make this book accessible to a wide readership from the able upper primary pupil to teacher reference and adult general interest.

With full colour throughout there are plenty of excellent photographs, maps, diagrams, sections, and satellite images, culminating in a useful glossary and index. The explanations of phenomena such as windchill, whiteout and sundogs are clear and well illustrated. The reference to Antarctica as a "white hole", an energy and information sink similar to the black holes in space, is one which young readers will undoubtedly be left with for some time to come.

Although written for an Australian readership, this in no way inhibits the wider geographical uses of the book. It is a must for departmental reference and the school library and some schools, through imaginatively constructed syllabuses, may wish to use it more directly with pupils.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today