The curiosity, drive, and perseverance of the nineteenth-century woman scientist who pioneered the use of aquariums to study ocean life are celebrated in this gorgeous, empowering picture book.
How did a nineteenth-century dressmaker revolutionize science? Jeanne Power was creative: she wanted to learn about the creatures that swim beneath the ocean waves, so she built glass tanks and changed the way we study underwater life forever. Jeanne Power was groundbreaking: she solved mysteries of sea animals and published her findings at a time when few of women’s contributions to science were acknowledged. Jeanne Power was persistent: when records of her research were lost, she set to work repeating her studies. And when men tried to take credit for her achievements, she stood firm and insisted on the recognition due to her.
Jeanne Power was inspiring, and the legacy of this pioneering marine scientist lives on in every aquarium.
Scholastic Reading Counts
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.–Molly Dettmann, Norman North H.S., OK