Secrets of the Sea: The ­Story of Jeanne Power, Revolutionary Marine Scientist

Clarion. Mar. 2021. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780358244325.
Gr 2-5–The sea holds many secrets, but one revolutionary scientist sought to solve them all. This biographical picture book centered on Jeanne Power (1794–1871), a white French marine biologist, chronicles the beginnings of her scientific fascination with nature and the discoveries she made through experimentation and studying sea creatures such as the paper nautilus. Later on in her career, Power lost her life’s work in a shipwreck, which forced her to recreate her experiments and stand up to critics to reclaim her place in history. Each spread features rich illustrations that capture the wonder and mystery of the sea, complemented by Power’s experiments, prototyping, and observations. The artwork features sketches and blazing blue and aqua seascapes. The text and images are accessible and easy to understand. The back matter includes a more detailed spread about Power, scientific information about the paper nautilus and marine biology and conservation, and a note on historical research.
VERDICT An excellent purchase for elementary school collections because of the focus on an unsung female scientist paired with solid back matter and beautiful illustrations.

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