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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

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  349 ratings  ·  95 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 m
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published June 5th 2018 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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4.38  · 
Rating details
 ·  349 ratings  ·  95 reviews

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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 man ...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
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.
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.
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
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 non-fict
Sunday Cummins
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 heart-s ...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 col ...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 pl ...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 well-
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 illustra
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
Laura G
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 st ...more
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 cla ...more
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A short illustrated nonfiction story of two scientists/adventurers who take a very small vessel very far into the deep depths of the ocean. The illustrations capture both the curious spirit of Otis and Will, the claustrophobic confines of their deep sea vessel and the wonder of what they found in the deep water. The words capture the excitement and trepidation.

The one thing missing from this book was a clearer setting in time. I couldn't tell from the illustrations o
Cheriee Weichel
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a fascinating story! From endpapers to endpaper this book is a visual delight. It's the perfect accompaniment to Barb Rosenstock's lyrical text about the first people to travel deep into the ocean just to explore its depths. I had never heard of Otis Barton or Will Beebe prior to reading this. I'm certain students will be at least as entertained as I was.
I appreciated the additional information in the back matter. Barb Rosenstock answered many of the questions I had while reading the book.
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-beehive
This story is a solid 4 stars. I learned something and the artwork was well done.

But, as you know, I love authors/illustrator notes and The Illustrators notes by Katherine Roy were my favorite part!
She explains how she and her husband did research photographs to help with her illustration. Otis and Will were both 6 ft tall, and were in a 4.5 feet space. So, she said (paraphrasing)" get a friend, a 4.5 cardboard box and take pictures." She wanted to make sure she got the dimensions right and acti
A pretty good children's picture book biography of lesser known figures. Great art, good enough writing. This really captured the idea of adventure and exploration and invention. And the historical after note was one of the better ones. And a terrific artist's note about the artist's process. All an all about as good as a book of this sort can be expected to be. So why not a 5-star? Maybe on a different day. I really didn't connect with what who they were or what they did. And the book was great ...more
Erin Buhr
Dec 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-nonfiction
The suspense and wonder and effort of discovery are all so well captured in this book. This is the story of the Bathysphere's record setting dive into the ocean in 1930. It is the story of two men who formed a somewhat unlikely partnership and together saw something no one else had ever seen. It's maybe a lame word but the best way I can describe this book and this story is that it is just so cool. 
Dec 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An interesting non-fiction read on the bathysphere and its creators. I loved the anticipation of the first dive as they continue to go deeper. Will the leak be a factor? Will the lit fuse hurt them? A bonus is the author and illustrator's note about the information found and additional sources in case a reader wants more info. The fold out is very exciting to look at. A perfect read for early elementary students.
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Reading about the bathysphere in National Geographic when I was in elementary school started my love of the ocean. I became fascinated by the whole notion of what was at the bottom of the sea (I wanted to be an Atlantean like Aquaman). I had forgotten about it until this book came into the library. What a joy! Now, more kids will fall in love with the bottom of the ocean like I did long time ago. Bravo Ms. Barb and thank you for the good memories.
I have a love hate relationship with this book. I like all things related to the ocean. This is a picture book biography of two people who worked together in the early 1930's to find a way to go deep in the ocean to see what was there. Incredible and daring.

The hate part is that the writing was so good, I started to feel claustrophobic and nervous as the bathysphere descended. I felt like I was there with Otis and Will.
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