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Otis and Will Discover the Deep: The Record-Setting Dive of the Bathysphere
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Otis and Will Discover the Deep: The Record-Setting Dive of the Bathysphere

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  496 ratings  ·  126 reviews
The suspenseful, little-known true story of two determined pioneers who made the first dive into the deep ocean.

On June 6, 1930, engineer Otis Barton and explorer Will Beebe dove into the ocean inside a hollow metal ball of their own invention called the Bathysphere.

They knew dozens of things might go wrong. A tiny leak could shoot pressurized water straight through the
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published June 5th 2018 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.35  · 
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 ·  496 ratings  ·  126 reviews

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Start your review of Otis and Will Discover the Deep: The Record-Setting Dive of the Bathysphere
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: kids interested in science or oceans
This is a lovely book, and fascinating! Perhaps more of a 4.5 than a complete 5 stars. Two guys got together; one who had always wanted to know what was down there in the ocean, the other who got curious as an adult. The final 4 page fold out spread shows what they likely saw. One noted that of the 4 new species that were drawn and named by them during their trip, none have been seen since. It is possible their vision was distorted through the windows. Or it is possible that the ocean has so ...more
Destinee Sutton
Nov 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wow! Beautiful artwork and a fascinating story. I loved the back matter -- especially the illustrator's note.

I thought there were a few weirdly-written sentences. For example, "He tried breathing through a garden hose in his mouth -- sputtered to the surface." And "He put a washtub over his head to trap air inside -- kept popping up." Obviously, I'm a fan of the em dash -- I use it all the time. But in this case I think it muddied the meaning of the latter clauses. And it seems to me like these
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When you think of the word brave, other synonymous meanings come to mind like courageous, heroic, bold or fearless. If you were to ask a group of children what brave means to them, I wonder what they would say. Would they be able to think of an individual who has exhibited the condition of being fearless? Most of them would not think of the combined efforts of an engineer and an explorer as being particularly heroic.

Perhaps they have never heard of two bold souls who saw life in the darkest part
Otis and Will Discover the Deep is a really great picture book for any child (or adult) who has ever been curious about the ocean. This true story is encouraging, with a note at the end that reveals how thrilled at least one of the subjects would have been to know that his story was in a modern children's book. The story is engaging and fun, the illustrations are beautiful, and the message is great.

Definitely recommended for any science- or history-minded children, or any kids who might be
Mrs. Salas
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was sucked into this book. Honestly, I can't imagine doing what these two men accomplished. Thank goodness they did though! This book was so well written and completely engaging with some great back matter.
Jordan Henrichs
Sep 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating story, presented perfectly for the elementary reader, with great artwork. Reminds me of a bit of Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 by Brian Floca, but less artsy and more informative.
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is gorgeous! I read this aloud to my fourth graders— the illustrations blew us away and we found the story to be inspiring.
Stephanie  Weatherly
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Finally got to read this one last night with the kids. They absolutely loved the illustrations that accompanied the facts. It sparked some great conversations about the ocean and what might be lurking in the deep.
This is about Otis Barton and Will Beebe and how they become the first ever to descend deep into the ocean (1930) in a submersible called the Bathysphere.
Ilse O'Brien
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read this 4x the first day I bought it: once on my own, once to my son & daughter, and twice to two groups of 5th graders. All of us captivated. Amazing illustrations by @KRoyStudio and a compelling narrative by @barbrosenstock.
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
At this point, I would read just about anything Katherine Roy illustrated and she seems to be getting better and better as her career progresses. But the story is thrilling, too! Well-written, engaging, and just the right amount of words on each page.
Combining Rosenstock's great storytelling with Roy's fabulous artwork was a brilliant move on someone's part. I've long enjoyed reading the picture book nonfiction that Rosenstock writes because it's always on an unusual interesting topic, told in an informative, easy to understand, yet accurate way. And Roy has quickly become one of my favorite illustrators, her art is amazing. Combining the work of the two makes for a fascinating told, beautifully illustrated book about an unusual subject. I'd ...more
Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Here's a dream team - Barb Rosenstock and Katherine Roy! This dynamic fascinating picture book is just the great result you'd expect from them.

What a story too! The idea and development of the Bathysphere and the nail-biting first test when it is dropped down into the huge pressures of the deep ocean for the first time is so wonderfully told. Rosenstock ratchets up the "pressure" with her great text and Roy's fabulous illustrations take full advantage of the large size of the book, contrasting
Katie Reilley
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent nonfiction picture book sharing the story of engineer Otis Barton and explorer Will Bebe’s dive 800 feet below the ocean in the Bathysphere. Lots of factual back matter that curious kids (and adults) will enjoy. Highly recommend for #classroombookaday .
Kara Garcia
Apr 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Otis and Will Discover the Deep is about the men who designed and created the bathysphere to explore the deep of the ocean. The book relates how they became involved in creating the bathysphere together, as well as how they designed and planned for their first deep sea dive in it, and what they saw and experienced while deep under the sea. It also discussed how much of the ocean is still unexplored.
The fiction twin text that I chose to pair with it is Deep Underwater. This book follows a girl
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I cannot fathom (hee, hee!) what kind of bravery and curiosity would be necessary to climb into a cast iron ball smaller than 5 feet in diameter and plunge hundreds of feet into the ocean. 800 feet. Far deeper than anyone had ever gone before. Oddly enough, there were two people with that kind of daring.

Otis and Will Discover the Deep tells the story of two explorers who just had to see what was beneath the waves. Author Rosenstock condenses what must be a long and detailed story into a
Dec 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Rosenstock is a go-to author for me. I never miss reading one of her books. In this one, with the recurring phrase "Down, down into the deep," Rosenstock tells the story of these two individuals and how their fascination with the ocean brought them together to create the "bathysphere." This would be an easy book to read aloud and discuss for a lot of different purposes -
*to enjoy,
*to learn the story of two determined individuals,
*to explain how problem solving and collaboration played a role
This book is listed as one of those "recommended" by the Orbus Pictus Award committee.

Like the NASA scientists on November 26th celebrating a Mars landing, long ago two men took a risk to do something extraordinary, go into the deep, deep, deep of the ocean to see what was there, something no one else had done.
This story shows the growing up years of Otis Barton and Will Beebe, curious boys, then men who took risks in various ways, but ended in their curiosity about the deep sea. With Barton,
Kyra Nay
Jun 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
On June 6, 1930, William Beebee, director of research at the Bronx Zoo, and Otis Barton, an engineering student at Columbia University descended 803 feet in a spherical diving tank called the bathysphere, going deeper into the ocean than any humans had before. Rosenstock uses short, terse sentences to heighten the tension as the pair sinks “down, down into the deep” (an evocative phrase she repeats throughout the book) pausing every 100 feet to mark their progress. Their dive had several ...more
Aug 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: k-3-non-fiction
Otis Barton grew up with a passion for exploring sea life, even experimenting with a hose and bicycle pump and weighted box to investigate below the ocean's surface for a full half hour. Will Beebe explored the forests and eventually wrote books about his travels to exotic places. Beebe experienced pure delight when he discovered unique exquisite plants and animals off a reef in the Galapagos Islands. He developed a burning desire to discover what lay beneath in the deep ocean. Otis Barton a ...more
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Otis loved the ocean since he was a boy. He experimented with different ways to dive lower and lover in the water. Will didn’t discover the ocean until later in life, spending time in the woods, trekking the world and climbing volcanoes. Otis heard that Will wanted to dive deep into the ocean and with his background in machines knew that Will would need a very special submersible to survive. Otis reached out to Will again and again until Will agreed to see him. Otis built the machine and Will ...more
Shaye Miller
Nov 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Filled with expressive, sketch-like illustrations, this book briefly chronicles the history of the first dive of the Bathysphere as created and used by Otis Barton and Will Beebe. This really paved the way for the deep sea work we know of, today. But it was cutting edge at the time. The development was fascinating and the first trip was, I must say, slightly terrifying -- not only were the two men in an extremely confined space, but there was some equipment malfunction that easily could have ...more
Stephanie Bange
Nov 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Barb Rosenstock and Katherine Roy join forces for the first time in this joint biography of the first successful deep water dive of a bathysphere.

Otis Barton had always been intrigued by the mysteries held by the depths of the ocean. It was fortuitous when he met Will Beebe, whose curiosity of nature was a match made in science heaven. Rosenstock's storytelling/writing is rich with detail, making this more of an adventure tale than straight-forward retelling of events. Barton and Beebe are
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: to-buy
Are there any bad children’s books these days or is does my library only stock the absolute cream of the crop?! I swear since I started reading a children’s book a day, I have not read one that I’ve starred less than four stars. And honestly, I’m tempted to stop reading adult books and just reading kids books: the illustrations are often amazing and the information they teach me is taught in entertaining and easy ways that it is just so much fun!

This book specifically is a STUNNER. The
Thrilling chronicle of two science-minded explorers who invented and climbed into a tiny steel sphere, in the 1930s, to risk a descent into the pressures of the deep ocean for the first time. The story is cleanly and precisely told, with pacing that supports the smooth flow of the exposition and the heart-stopping endless half hour of the initial descent. The illustrations are amazingly evocative and well-researched, with vertiginous perspectives (or claustrophobic, as appropriate) bringing the ...more
Penny Peck
Dec 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-ya
This true story describes the first successful attempt by two scientist to explore the lower ocean floor using a bathysphere in 1930. The book is structured like a picture book, with a few sentences per page and read straight through (no chapters), using a lively narrative introducing the two men and their mission. The text is well matched to the illustrations, which depict things realistically while still using a style that will appeal to elementary school-age children. Readers will be inspired ...more
Bristol Library
May 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Otis is an engineer who designs a helmet so he can breath and explore underwater. Will is an explorer who loves learning about animals. Together, they create the bathysphere - the world's first submersible. They traveled deeper into the ocean than any human had before.

Otis and Will Discover the Deep is a picture book illustrating their first journey on June 6. 1903. Full of accurate and artistic illustrations from Katherine Roy and suspense filled text from Barb Rosenstock, this story will have
Mikayla Brown
Sep 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was very interesting, it showed the story of how Otis and Will created a “submarine” in order to explore the depths of the ocean, achieving a depth of 800 ft when no one had ever been able to go lower than 100 ft. This book is perfect for 2nd-4th graders because it gives them the opportunity to learn more about the deep ocean, as well as how these two men were able to push the limits of science and discover the world around them. I gave this book 4 stars because it is perfect for a ...more
Jun 20, 2019 added it
Shelves: non-fiction
Twin Text:
Brooke, S., Cole, J., & Degen, B. (2018). Magic school bus: Deep-sea dive. New York, NY: Scholastic.
I would use this twin text for a crossover in science. Otis and Will Discover the Deep is about two men who discovered the deep ocean. I chose a fiction book 'Deep-Sea Dive' because students will be able to connect with this reading better. In both stories the characters discover the deep sea and see a bunch of animals no one has seen before. I would use a KWL chart on this twin
Laura Giessler
I was wowed by the story of these two men and their daring dive to the bottom of the ocean. The details of Otis' childhood attempts to dive with homemade equipment are a hoot and will connect with kids. The suspense that builds as they go deeper in their dive is palpable, as is the sense of discomfort and danger. These were brave men indeed who felt it was worth it to risk their lives for the sake of science and knowledge. Both the author and illustrator researched so diligently to depict the ...more
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