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Secrets of the Sea: The Story of Jeanne Power, Revolutionary Marine Scientist

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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 glas 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.


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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 glas 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.

30 review for Secrets of the Sea: The Story of Jeanne Power, Revolutionary Marine Scientist

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ben Truong

    Secrets of the Sea: The Story of Jeanne Power, Revolutionary Marine Scientist is a children's picture book written by Evan Griffith and illustrated by Joanie Stone. It centers on self-taught naturalist Jeanne Power, who invented methods to study marine organisms, defying prejudice against women to become a respected scientist. Jeanne Villepreux-Power was a pioneering French marine biologist who in 1832 was the first person to create aquaria for experimenting with aquatic organisms. The English bi Secrets of the Sea: The Story of Jeanne Power, Revolutionary Marine Scientist is a children's picture book written by Evan Griffith and illustrated by Joanie Stone. It centers on self-taught naturalist Jeanne Power, who invented methods to study marine organisms, defying prejudice against women to become a respected scientist. Jeanne Villepreux-Power was a pioneering French marine biologist who in 1832 was the first person to create aquaria for experimenting with aquatic organisms. The English biologist Richard Owen referred to her as the Mother of Aquariophily. Griffith's text is rather simplistic, straightforward, and informational. Griffith employs a candid tone to showcase the real-life story of Jeanne Power, who made groundbreaking marine discoveries. Backmatter features further information on Power’s life and legacy, contemporary marine biology and conservation efforts, and a bibliography. Stone contributes animation-style digital illustrations in a rich color palette. The premise of the book is rather straightforward. It centers on the life and times of marine scientist Jeanne Power. Through reading about, studying, and cataloging the Italian island's wildlife, Power, a former dressmaker, becomes a self-taught naturalist, fashioning equipment for studying underwater species. She eventually solves the quandary of the paper nautilus's stealing vs. shell-building tendencies. Despite facing gender-based discrimination and losing much of her research to a shipwreck, Power persists in breaking barriers. All in all, Secrets of the Sea: The Story of Jeanne Power, Revolutionary Marine Scientist is an appealing introduction to a STEM trailblazer in Jeanne Power.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Edward Sullivan

    A great picture biography of self-educated marine biologist Jeanne Power whose pioneering work included the use of aquariums to study ocean life.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ellon

    A really interesting person to have a picture book about. I really enjoyed learning about her life and discoveries. I will say that I think the book is just slightly text heavy. I was majorly disappointed with most of the backmatter. The information about Jeanne was pretty much the same information as what was in the text of the book. Not much was added. I did like the notes about Marine Biology/Conservation and the paper nautilus. I loved the note about historical research and how she explained A really interesting person to have a picture book about. I really enjoyed learning about her life and discoveries. I will say that I think the book is just slightly text heavy. I was majorly disappointed with most of the backmatter. The information about Jeanne was pretty much the same information as what was in the text of the book. Not much was added. I did like the notes about Marine Biology/Conservation and the paper nautilus. I loved the note about historical research and how she explained how things can sometimes be disputed by different sources. I will say that, coming from the perspective of my zoo volunteer training, I was disappointed that the backmatter on marine biology/conservation did not mention that children should not be taking wild animals from their natural habitat into their homes. I think that since it's mentioned in the text about Jeanne bringing home a tortoise and martens, and bringing the paper nautilus into her aquarium, readers might think it's a good idea from them to take wild animals inside for pets.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Debra

    One of my coworkers suggested more biography titles are needed for women and this book fit that bill perfectly! What an interesting story of a dressmaker turned naturalist in the 1800's. This book is an easy to read non-fiction book about a woman who all of us should know. She studied ocean life in a new way, creating aquariums and boxes to watch sea life in their natural habitat! Jeanne Power is likely to be popular at my elementary schools. I cannot wait for our Wax Museum to return as I am su One of my coworkers suggested more biography titles are needed for women and this book fit that bill perfectly! What an interesting story of a dressmaker turned naturalist in the 1800's. This book is an easy to read non-fiction book about a woman who all of us should know. She studied ocean life in a new way, creating aquariums and boxes to watch sea life in their natural habitat! Jeanne Power is likely to be popular at my elementary schools. I cannot wait for our Wax Museum to return as I am sure this will be one of our reports to watch! Joanie Stone did a great job with the peaceful sea illustrations and the sketches for both dressmakers and inventures use them to create new items. I especially liked how Jeanne Power managed to keep her name attached to the work she did despite a horrible sea accident and the mostly men peers she met in her work. Kudos to a glass ceiling broken long before I had ever heard of it happening. Thank you to Evan Griffith and Joanie Stone for allowing me to learn about this new to me innovator who lived long before I was born.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Paul Decker

    *I received this book as an eARC. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.* As someone who teaches the marine sciences to children, I absolutely LOVED this book. This nonfiction picture book recounts the story of Jeanne Power, inventor and scientist. She built the first aquariums for scientific study. From her life as a seamstress in Paris to becoming a naturalist and contributing so much to science. She learned so much about the paper n *I received this book as an eARC. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.* As someone who teaches the marine sciences to children, I absolutely LOVED this book. This nonfiction picture book recounts the story of Jeanne Power, inventor and scientist. She built the first aquariums for scientific study. From her life as a seamstress in Paris to becoming a naturalist and contributing so much to science. She learned so much about the paper nautilus. Male scholars didn't believe her results and then later tried to take credit for her work. This is a story that needs to be told to children. This book can inspire kids to pursue their passions and to fight for recognition. She paved the way for modern scientists. There are also more details after the main story about her life and her studies. I give this book a 5/5. This book would be perfect in any Science classroom as well as on any children's bookshelves.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Iris

    This well-written biography of Jeanne Power will surely inspire many of our youth to reach for the stars and advocate for themselves. Without a formal education, Jeanne succeeded in becoming the first woman member of several scientific academies, revolutionized the use of aquariums in scientific research, and definitively answered a question that scientists had previously argued over for years! She emphatically defended ownership rights to her discoveries when male scientists tried to take credi This well-written biography of Jeanne Power will surely inspire many of our youth to reach for the stars and advocate for themselves. Without a formal education, Jeanne succeeded in becoming the first woman member of several scientific academies, revolutionized the use of aquariums in scientific research, and definitively answered a question that scientists had previously argued over for years! She emphatically defended ownership rights to her discoveries when male scientists tried to take credit for her discovery and fought for her rights as an inventor. As a woman in the nineteenth century, these were incredible feats! More information in the back matter is provided about her life and research.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Susan Rumsey

    I purchased this book for my 8 year old niece who loves science. I was particularly drawn to this book because it highlights a female marine scientist in the early 1800s. The subject, Jeanne Powers, serves as a wonderful inspiration for young girls. Evan Griffith did a phenomenal job bringing her story to life with the help of beautiful illustrations by Joanie Stone. This book is educational along with being entertaining and definitely belongs in school libraries. It would also make a great gift I purchased this book for my 8 year old niece who loves science. I was particularly drawn to this book because it highlights a female marine scientist in the early 1800s. The subject, Jeanne Powers, serves as a wonderful inspiration for young girls. Evan Griffith did a phenomenal job bringing her story to life with the help of beautiful illustrations by Joanie Stone. This book is educational along with being entertaining and definitely belongs in school libraries. It would also make a great gift book for grandparents or parents to purchase. Additional note - Don't miss the fascinating background information of Ms Powers' life at the end of the story.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I received an eARC courtesy of Clarion Books via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review. Always a thrill to read about lesser known women contributors to scientific advancements. Before this I had never heard of Jeanne, which is quite the shame. This was very focused and detailed. Great illustrations and great back matter. For Libraries: And excellent addition to your picture book biographies.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Loved this picture book bio. A gem. I hadn't heard of this woman, but the narrative sounds well-researched. I appreciated all of the back matter (about paper nautilus, the challenges of research, bibliography, etc.). I was most struck with the fact that she was a contemporary of Mary Anning and wish they could have met. Definitely worth a Science Club wherein the kids make their own terrariums/aquariums or otherwise observe nature and take notes. Loved this picture book bio. A gem. I hadn't heard of this woman, but the narrative sounds well-researched. I appreciated all of the back matter (about paper nautilus, the challenges of research, bibliography, etc.). I was most struck with the fact that she was a contemporary of Mary Anning and wish they could have met. Definitely worth a Science Club wherein the kids make their own terrariums/aquariums or otherwise observe nature and take notes.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Panda Incognito

    This is a fascinating, gorgeous picture book biography of a French dressmaker-turned-scientist who was a pioneer in marine biology. The illustrations are captivating, the text is detailed and engaging, and the book includes historical and scientific information that will educate and delight both children and adults.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Mcavoy

    A strong biography of an interesting woman who made substantial contributions to knowledge of marine biology and invented the aquarium. The big bummer for me was the quality of the illustrations and the paper. This feels like a cheap book and the illustrations read as computer generated and plasticky, which is a shame and a disservice to the strong content.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    This is a fascinating picture book biography about a 19th-century woman who decides to pursue a passion for marine biology and doesn't mind breaking down stereotypes and breaking through barriers to do it. I love her tenacity, creativity, determination, and willingness to persist even in the face of many setbacks and discouragement. Fantastic story! This is a fascinating picture book biography about a 19th-century woman who decides to pursue a passion for marine biology and doesn't mind breaking down stereotypes and breaking through barriers to do it. I love her tenacity, creativity, determination, and willingness to persist even in the face of many setbacks and discouragement. Fantastic story!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    Attractive illustrations and attention to both the scientist and her science and the context in which she did her work, with men busily trying to steal her ideas and shut her up. The back matter goes into a bit more detail but the main text has lots of great octopus pictures.

  14. 5 out of 5

    mg

    As someone who wanted to be a marine biologist growing up, this book sings to my heart. (As does the color palette...) Fascinating story with lovely illustrations! LOVED the back matter that discusses what an author does when facing conflicting facts during their research.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Science, art, and history- oh my! When a picture book can instill a sense of skill, determination, and wonder it's amazing. But when a picture book also encourages excellent research practices, both in the narrative and in the notes, it's *chef's kiss* level excellent. Science, art, and history- oh my! When a picture book can instill a sense of skill, determination, and wonder it's amazing. But when a picture book also encourages excellent research practices, both in the narrative and in the notes, it's *chef's kiss* level excellent.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    Interesting.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Cmeiss330

    Absolutely LOVED this gorgeous and informative book. I wish I'd known about Jeanne Power earlier because marine biology is one of my favorite fields to read about! Absolutely LOVED this gorgeous and informative book. I wish I'd known about Jeanne Power earlier because marine biology is one of my favorite fields to read about!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Elisabeth

    4.5 stars.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Andréa

    Note: I accessed a digital review copy of this book through Edelweiss.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mary Yram

    Interesting storyline. If you have some great stories like this one, you can publish it on NovelStar.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Emily Masters

    I wish this had focused more on her work than on her, but I'm sure that's difficult when so much of her early work sank to the bottom of the ocean. I wish this had focused more on her work than on her, but I'm sure that's difficult when so much of her early work sank to the bottom of the ocean.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lisa D

    What a fascinating biography of one ambitious woman marine scientist! Loved it!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Annie

  24. 4 out of 5

    Shayna

  25. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Wall

  26. 4 out of 5

    Selma Flores

  27. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

  28. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

  29. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Fischer

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