Tuesday, 28 October 2014
Review: Deadly Pole to Pole Diaries by Steve Backshall
Publisher: Orion Children's
Format: Hardcover / eBook
Released: October 23rd, 2014
This is Steve Backshall's incredible first-hand account of his 14-month voyage from the Arctic to the Antarctic via Alaska, California, Hawaii, Mexico and Brazil and many more amazing locations besides. Go with him every step of the way as he describes his encounters with white whales, ice bears, sharks, eagles, wolves, sea lions, eagles, crocodiles, snakes and spiders. It's the Deadly adventure of a lifetime.
This book unexpectedly arrived for review a couple of weeks ago, and at first I wasn't really interested in reading it. I didn't know anything about Steve Backshall and hadn't seen any of his shows, so I didn't think it was a book for me. Then I started flicking through it, noticed the amazing photos of wildlife and their locations and I started reading it straight away. I love anything about the Arctic and Antarctic, as well as whales and sharks, and this book features all of them!
Steve Backshall travelled from the Arctic to the Antarctic over a fourteen month period. In Deadly Pole to Pole he recounts his journey and the animals he saw, as well as close shaves with his life and numerous reports of the actual travelling and how gruelling it was at times. He writes everything honestly and always includes the negative with the positive, which I thought was a really great way to approach this book. Too often non-fiction can be full of hyperbole and only the good stuff, but that's not the case with Steve Backshall. I believed every word he wrote!
Steve and his incredibly brave team travelled to many different places, including South America, the Tropics and the Temperate North. Each location has its own section and is supported by lots of text and seriously brilliant photography - I was mesmerised and absolutely captivated by all the images of whales, sharks, bald eagles, wolves, bats, penguins and alligator snapping turtles. And those are just a few of the animals featured here! Some I hadn't heard of before, like the alligator gar fish, while others like the great white shark I was all too familiar with. I have no idea how Steve did what he did - I would have been petrified!
Steve writes with a very easy style that I think children will love. It's not over complicated and he explains everything going on without being condescending, which I think is important in non-fiction books. People read them to learn, so to have something explained in a quick and easy manner is appreciated, especially when you're not an expert on the subject! I learned a lot from reading this book, and I can honestly say I read every single word. I can see myself revisiting it in the future, and I'm so glad I gave it a chance!
Deadly Pole to Pole is a fantastic book that I thoroughly enjoyed. It would be great in schools and as a homework helper, though it's also just really fun to read for enjoyment. I've since watched a few of the episodes of the show that this book is based on, and they're as thrilling as I expected them to be. I'm definitely a new fan of Steve Backshall's, and reading this has spurned me on to read some of his children's fiction. I can't explain how much I enjoyed Deadly Pole to Pole - I'm still fascinated by all the animals featured in it, captured on camera forever, and I hope Steve writes more books like this in the future!