Adventure to Find the Unknown: A Review of The Search for the Giant Arctic Jellyfish

The Search for the Giant Arctic Jellyfish
Chloe Savage
Candlewick Press
Ages 4 to 8
June 6, 2023

Doctor Morley wants nothing more in life is to find the giant Artic jellyfish. After years of research and preparation, she has finally compiled a team of experts to help her on her long-awaited journey to search the Arctic Circle. Dr. Morley and her crew are motivated but as the harsh cold and the long months of searching start to affect them; they wonder if they may ever catch sight of the mythical Arctic jellyfish on this journey. But has the jellyfish been following them all along?

The watercolor and ink illustrations in a soft white and blue palette reflect the stark beauty of the ocean and the Arctic environment. Savage utilizes a contrasting bright red to separate the humans and boat from the natural colors of the animals, ocean, and sky.  Savage’s use of color tone and saturation shows the depth of the ocean and complexity of the night sky to stunning effect, especially when the crew encounters animals that live in the Arctic Circle like polar bears and narwhals. The depth, complexity, and use of color schemes is reinforced by the texture of the glaciers and the complex details of the cross-section of the boat. In some scenes, Savage hides the giant Arctic jellyfish as it follows the crew or shows it playing with the animals, symbolizing its hesitation toward humans but an interest as well. The text focuses more on the adventure and not on the crew members, even Dr. Morley as the main character. The minimal character development and spare text allows more focus on the scientific quest for the Arctic jellyfish and the intricate artwork. This book is geared more toward older children and utilizes sophisticated vocabulary and subtle prose to create a scientific tone to the text. The Search for the Giant Arctic Jellyfish will capture the attention of any young reader interested in the Arctic, the animals that live there, and the worthwhile search for the unknown.

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