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Oceanology: The True Account of the Voyage of the Nautilus    by Ferdinand Zoticus deLessups & Dugald A. Steer order for
by Ferdinand Zoticus deLessups
Order:  USA  Can
Candlewick, 2009 (2009)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The first thing that strikes the reader about Oceanology: The True Account of the Voyage of the Nautilus is its spectacular cover with a golden porthole looking down into a holograph of turquoise ocean depths, filled with Greek ruins and monsters of the deep. A Publisher's Note mentions that the book is based on a 'sea-stained notebook documenting an extraordinary undersea journey, purportedly written by one Zoticus de Lesseps'.

This fascinating journey - alongside Captain Nemo aboard the storied Nautilus, described in Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea - begins April 3rd, 1863. Zoticus joins Nemo's expedition as a professor's assistant. Readers learn about it through his diary (almost a scrapbook) which has all kinds of extras to explore, like tiny books on the Father of Oceanology (Matthew Maury) and A History of Diving; layouts of the Nautilus and the Nautosphere; and a dice game.

Readers share young Zoticus' learning about the undersea landscape, ocean currents, ocean life at different depths, the food chain, seaweeds, the Antarctic ice shelf, whale migration, coral reefs and their inhabitants, air lock operation, shipwrecks, the Earth's moving plates, underwater volcanoes and tsunamis, thermal vents, mythical sea monsters, Darwin and the Galapagos, the Transatlantic Telegraph Cable, the Lost City of Atlantis, and much more.

I highly recommend this beautiful and very informative volume (aimed at ages six and up) both to fans of Jules Verne's works of all ages, and to those interested in increasing their knowledge and understanding of Earth's vast expanse of oceans.

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