'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Monday 8 February 2021

Review: Iceberg

Claire Saxby is well-known for her superlative, well-researched work, and carefully chosen words. In Iceberg, her use of poetic language, alliteration and assonance could be construed as musical: but mostly the sky swirls snow or ice crystals in this frozen desert. Winter tides swell and ebb… the narrative appears to float on the same movement as that of the ice.

Jess Racklyeft keeps reinventing herself through an astonishing ability to use colour by immersing herself in her projects. Shades of blues and greens, and dazzling whites form shadowy backgrounds for the life that depends on them. With the collaboration of these two gifted artists, a world of frozen beauty has been created.

The birth and death of the Iceberg is revealed in stages and seasons, and shared with the living creatures during the shifts in winds and currents which offer life and continuity.

How many of these birds and creatures are we talking about? Countless ones are mentioned and depicted above and below the sea. Displays of their presence is presented on two exquisite double page fold-outs in the middle of the book. It gives a panoramic view of the many types of fish and sea animals that exist in those frozen waters.

The habits of these creatures blend with the shifting shapes of the icebergs. The migration of birds during the Antarctic summers speak of life as does renewal of the Iceberg.

This is an exceptionally beautiful book designed to call attention to the melting Antarctic snows and the repercussions on the animal life that depends on the Iceberg for food and survival. It demands that the effect climate change is having and will have on this magical place be acknowledged and addressed. Words cannot solve this problem; they can only draw attention to it.

The rest depends on action taken quickly to preserve and protect all the life that depends on this environment. 

Title: Iceberg
Author: Claire Saxby
Illustrator: Jess Racklyeff
Publisher: Allen & Unwin, $ 24.99
Publication Date: 2 February 2021
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781760526047
For ages: 5 – 8
Type: Non Fiction/Natural History