"A finely told, beautifully illustrated biography that saves a world class scientist from obscurity." --School Library Journal, starred review "An ideal introduction to a lesser-known scientist and an important understanding about how the Earth works."--Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Filled with gorgeous illustrations by acclaimed artist Ra l Col n, this illustrated biography shares the story of female scientist, Marie Tharp, a pioneering woman scientist and the first person to ever successfully map the ocean floor.
Marie Tharp was always fascinated by the ocean. Taught to think big by her father who was a mapmaker, Marie wanted to do something no one had ever done before: map the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Was it even possible? Not sure if she would succeed, Marie decided to give it a try.
Throughout history, others had tried and failed to measure the depths of the oceans. Sailors lowered weighted ropes to take measurements. Even today, scientists are trying to measure the depth by using echo sounder machines to track how long it would take a sound wave sent from a ship to the sea floor to come back. But for Marie, it was like piecing together an immense jigsaw puzzle.
Despite past failures and challenges--sometimes Marie would be turned away from a ship because having a woman on board was "bad luck"--Marie was determined to succeed. And she did, becoming the first person to chart the ocean floor, helping us better understand the planet we call home.
Award-winning author Robert Burleigh tells her story of imagination and perseverance. Beautifully illustrated by Ra l Col n, Look Up
is a book that will inspire readers to follow their dreams.
Grades 1-3. Though her discoveries were pivotal to the theory of plate tectonics, geologist and cartographer Marie Tharp is still relatively unknown. In this picture-book biography, Burleigh presents Tharp’s story in her own enthusiastic, imagined voice. “Maps. I love them!” she exclaims before describing her life and accomplishments. In a conversational tone, she discusses her curiosity, her struggles to be accepted in the boys’-club atmosphere of 1950s research labs, her dogged determination to work in science, her belief in her sea-floor-mapping project, and her satisfaction at seeing her beautiful map gracing the walls of schools and museums. Along the way, she explains depth soundings, cartographic concepts, and plate tectonics. Colón’s soft colored-pencil illustrations are a wonderful match for ocean scenes and frequent maps, and a few helpful diagrams further illustrate concepts. Though the lengthy text makes this better suited to slightly older picture-book readers, the appealing art and informative glimpse into the life of a little-known scientist make it very worthwhile. Further reading and some provocative critical-thinking questions close out the volume.