Iceberg by Claire Saxby

Title: Iceberg
Author: Claire Saxby
Illustrator: Jess Racklyeft
Published: February 2021
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Readership: Children’s Picturebook
Genre: Non-Fiction (Natural History)
Rating: ★★★★★
RRP: $24.99

I received a copy of Iceberg from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

An iceberg is born into spring and travels through the seasons before dying in a new spring. A stunning, lyrical story for our times, from renowned picture book creators Claire Saxby and Jess Racklyeft.

In the final freeze of an Antarctic winter, green tails wave across a star-full sky, as if to farewell endless nights. If this world looks empty, look closer … Penguins trek across the ice to their winter homes. As the temperature warms, birds fly above on their long migrations. And with the advent of summer, beneath an iceberg, the sea is teeming with life. Ocean, sky, snow and ice – minute greens and giant blues – dance a delicate dance in this evocative portrayal of the life cycle of an iceberg.


For nearly two decades I’ve had an utter fascination with Antarctica, especially as a setting for books. When I was approached to review Iceberg, a non-fiction picture book being released by Allen and Unwin I jumped at the opportunity to see this location explored in a children’s text.

Icerberg is a beautiful, lyrical book filled with wonderful facts that will engage and delight younger readers. As Claire Saxby weaves together facts and beautifully worded descriptions of the landscape, she invites readers to look closer and to see the world hidden below the surface of the Antarctica waters. While reading I was compelled to stop and re-read sentences and phrases that captured my attention and made me want to soak in the artfully crafted language.

Then you add Saxby’s words to Jess Racklyeft’s stunning watercolour artwork and you have something truly magical. Racklyeft captures the frozen south in stunning detail, with the pictures not only matching the words on the page but enhancing them even further, adding depth to the storytelling through hidden images and details that make this book a joy to read, and re-read.

It’s only been in recent years that I have begun to truly appreciate the power of children’s non-fiction books, and the incredible power they wield in showcasing our world. Icerberg is a beautifully crafted book that will capture the imaginations of many young readers.

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