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Review: Journey into the Deep for the iPad

During the decadelong project conducted by the Census of Marine Life, more than 2000 scientists from eighty-plus countries went on a mission. Their job? To investigate ocean life around the world. Their work, along with some of their amazing discoveries, is presented in Journey into the Deep.

In addition to mesmerizing, otherworldly images, this app offers a list of book and web further-reading resources. Tap on a website listed in Journey’s bibliography and BAM! you’re there. How cool (and useful) is that?

Title: Journey into the Deep: Discovering New Ocean Creatures
Author: Rebecca L. Johnson
Published by: Lerner Publishing Group
Platform: iPad exclusive; iOS 3.2 or later
Version: 1.0
Price: 2.99

Gr 5 Up-Adapted from the 2010 nonfiction work of the same title, this visually stunning, interactive app immerses readers into the watery world below the ocean’s surface, from its “Shallow Edges” to its “unfathomable” depths. Through an engaging and informative text and dazzling photos, Journey introduces readers to the wide variety of sea creatures encountered over the course of an international 10-year project conducted by the Census of Marine Life.

Navigation instructions, essential for maneuvering through the content, are provided at the beginning of the app. Chapter headings are accessed by sliding the text from right to left, and chapter contents by scrolling down. (An accidental horizontal swipe will send readers to the middle of the next chapter.) At times the color contrast between the text and background is too subtle, which may make the text difficult to read for some people.

Featured interactive elements include pullout captions and video clips (one of a sea cucumber, etc.) which complement, and provide a good balance to, the written material. Students interested in learning more about the topic will find web-linked resources in the bibliography. A glossary, source notes, and discussion questions are also provided. A great resource appropriate for both ocean enthusiasts and classroom research.—Lindsay Cesari, Baldwinsville School District, NY