Project Description

Life in a Frozen World
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Life in a Frozen World

Wildlife of Antarctica

by Mary Batten
illustrated by Thomas Gonzalez

Award-winning nature writer Mary Batten uncovers the climate change mysteries of our planet’s coldest, most extreme environment—Antarctica. With magnificent illustrations from Thomas Gonzalez.

“Informative…fascinating…. A superb choice for students who are studying animal adaptation and how climate change impacts Antarctica. The well-researched text and captivating illustrations work well to convey the importance of conservation.” —School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

Did you know that Antarctica could be the key to long-standing questions about the Earth and climate change? Though it seems very far away from us at the bottom of the world, this frozen continent affects weather, ocean currents, and sea levels all over the Earth. Its wildlife survives—and even thrives—on ice. And in the long run, so do we.

From award-winning, experienced nature writer Mary Batten comes a remarkable nonfiction picture book that plumbs the mysteries of one of the most hostile environments on the planet. With clear, engaging language, Batten explores fascinating questions that scientists the world over have been researching, such as:

  • In the intensely cold, windy, and dry environment of Antarctica, how does a wide variety of wildlife survive?
  • How do some species of Antarctic fishes make a natural antifreeze that prevents their blood from freezing solid?
  • How does a forest of giant seaweed flourish under the sea when no other trees grow on the continent?
  • Antarctica’s creatures are exquisitely adapted to their extreme habitat, but can they survive warmer waters and atmosphere?

New York Times bestselling illustrator Thomas Gonzalez (14 Cows for America) brings Batten’s text to life with detailed, realistic paintings that leap off the page.

An ideal resource for young science lovers and educators, this informative volume is perfect for classroom units on climate change, conservation, ecology, environment, nature, oceanography, and more.

Also by Mary Batten:
Aliens from Earth
Hey Daddy! Animal Fathers and Their Babies
Please Don’t Wake the Animals
Who Has a Belly Button?

Format: Hardcover
Price: $18.99
ISBN: 978-1-68263-151-5
Publication Date: 11/1/2020
Page Count: 40
Size: 10-7/8″ x 9-1/2″
Age Range: 6 – 10
Language: English
Format: eBook
ISBN: 978-1-68263-264-2
Age Range: 6 – 10
Language: English

Purchase this eBook through the following vendors:

Barnes & Noble

F&P: T, Gr 5, Genre I
Lexile: NC1130L
Themes: Animal Adaptations to Cold, Climate Change, Scientific Research in Antarctica, Wildlife of Antarctica
BISAC 1: JNF037070 JUVENILE NONFICTION / Science & Nature / Earth Sciences / Water (Oceans, Lakes, etc.)
BISAC 2: JNF051180 JUVENILE NONFICTION / Science & Nature / Earth Sciences / Geography
BISAC 3: JNF051100 JUVENILE NONFICTION / Science & Nature / Environmental Science & Ecosystems


“Informative…fascinating… The text makes a compelling case for understanding and caring about Antarctica. Gonzalez’s illustrations provide an intriguing depiction of the setting…. A superb choice for students who are studying animal adaptation and how climate change impacts Antarctica. The well-researched text and captivating illustrations work well to convey the importance of conservation.” —School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

“Beautifully illustrated… Batten presents well-researched and clearly written text that includes enough detail to engage readers without overwhelming them…. Gonzalez’s double-page pictures present vivid scenes of windswept ice, dramatic skies, and seas teeming with life. This inviting volume provides a lively introduction to Antarctica and its unique ecosystem.” —Booklist

“Descriptions are clear, concise, and interesting… [Batten’s] text is relatively substantial for a picture book, and it’s set against a backdrop of gorgeous Antarctic scenes created by Gonzalez.…the scenery is magnificent…. Sobering news in a handsome package.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Thomas Gonzalez’s watercolor illustrations are lively and precise, helping to make this an enchanting, educational introduction to Antarctica’s biodiversity.” —Foreword Reviews


Green Earth Book Award Recommended Reading List (Nonfiction)— The Nature Generation, 2021

Kansas State Reading Circle Recommended Reading List (Intermediate)— Kansas National Education Association, 2021

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Meet the Author

Mary Batten

Mary Batten, an award-winning writer for television, film and publishing, was nominated for an Emmy for her work on the Children’s Television Workshop’s science series 3-2-1 Contact and has written more than fifty nature documentaries for television, including the syndicated series Wild Wild World of Animals. She lives in Virginia. You can visit her website here.

Meet the Illustrator

Thomas Gonzalez

Thomas Gonzalez is an illustrator, designer, and portrait artist. A native of Cuba, Tom came to the United States when he was ten years old. He studied at the Atlanta School of Art (now called Savannah of Art and Design). After working at the Coca-Cola Company for more than twenty years, Tom held several creative positions with other global brands. He has illustrated many picture books, including 14 Cows for AmericaSeven and a Half Tons of Steel, and Countdown. He lives in Georgia. You can visit his website here.