Cover image for A for Antarctica
A for Antarctica
Chester, Jonathan.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Berkeley, Calif. : Tricycle Press, [1995]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 27 cm
General Note:
Rare Book Room copy gift of Melissa Ackerman.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 5.8 0.5 56683.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
RBR ELLIS ABC 1995.C44 Adult Non-Fiction Grosvenor Room-Rare Books-Appointment Needed

On Order



An ABA "Pick of the Lists" Book!

"Chester's book turns the frozen desert into something magical and alive". -- Booklist

"Books about subjects of interest to middle readers in the alphabet format are sometimes suspect, but this extremely well". -- Horn Book

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 2-4. Since this is not an alphabet book in the usual sense--" Aurora australis" is way beyond the primer stage--the letters are simply a linking device for photos of Antarctica that were taken by Chester during his several polar explorations. Indeed, the pictures are excellent, even showing surprising flashes of humor and fun. Antarctic wildlife and equipment used by contemporary explorers pop up in the many pictures, with each photo keyed to a letter of the alphabet and described in a brief caption. An orientation map would have helped readers locate the various places mentioned, such as Mount Minto and the Antarctic Peninsula, but even without one, Chester's book turns the frozen desert into something magical and alive. --Stephanie Zvirin

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-3‘An introduction to human and animal activities in the Antarctic. While the full-color photographs are beautiful, bright, and clear, their relationship to each letter is sometimes questionable. Many photos include more than one object, so that one of a waterfall could also be interpreted as ice, glacier, or water. Others portray unique aspects of Antarctic life, but are confusing. For example, ``Nest'' shows a snow petrel and chick on a rocky outcrop. Also, the photo of a large white ``X'' painted by surveyors as a reference point for mapping is taken from an angle that makes it look more like a cross. The typeface is clear, dark, and easy to read, but often the vocabulary is difficult and unfamiliar, e.g., crevasse, yacht, nunatak. Children may be frustrated by the use of such words as zooplankton, quad, and quest‘they are briefly defined, but are not always accompanied by pronunciation guides. This glimpse of life in a fascinating area of the world lacks clarity and focus.‘Frances E. Millhouser, Chantilly Regional Library, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.