The little-known true story of the first deep dive into the ocean . . .
Eighty-eight years ago today on June 6, 1930, engineer Otis Barton and explorer William Beebe dove into the ocean inside a hollow metal ball called the Bathysphere. They knew dozens of things might go wrong. A tiny leak could shoot pressurized water straight through the men like bullets! A single spark could cause their oxygen tanks to explode! No one had ever dived lower than a few hundred feet . . . and come back. But Otis and Will were determined to become the first people to see what the deep ocean looked like.
Yesterday on June 5, 2018, author Barb Rosenstock and illustrator Katherine Roy launched their true-science picture book called Otis and Will Discover the Deep: The Record-Setting Dive of the Bathysphere. They also knew dozens of things might go wrong. A Kirkus reviewer could tear the book to shreds! A few bad months of sales might tank their careers! But Barb and Katherine were determined to get this book into the hands of young readers everywhere.
Thankfully, like Otis and Will’s journey into the deep, our book is already shaping up to be a great success. Called “masterful” by The Horn Book and “[a] tribute to the owner of curiosity, imagination and ambition” by Publishers Weekly, Otis and Will Discover the Deep launched with five (FIVE!!!) starred reviews to eager teachers, librarians, parents, and students across the country. Hip-hip-hooray!
My endless thanks to Barb Rosenstock, Deirdre Jones, Jen Keenan, Tim Stout, Stephen Barr, Madeleine Thompson, WCS, and the team at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers for bringing this incredible project to life, and to my friends, family, and fans for giving this book a home. I’ll be posting more about it all month here on my blog at katherineroy.com/otisandwill, or you can follow me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook to watch the journey unfold. Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you at the shelf!
Order Otis and Will Discover the Deep from
★ “Rosenstock’s masterful pacing as the tank is submerged leaves us nearly breathless… Roy’s fluid watercolors and dramatic perspectives capture the heart-pounding emotion of the scientists’ dangerous journey.”
―The Horn Book, starred review★ “[A] tribute to the power of curiosity, imagination, and ambition.”
―Publishers Weekly, starred review
★ “This is a true science adventure story… an outstanding work of nonfiction.”
―School Library Journal, starred review
★ “This is a true adventure tale par excellence, tautly plotted, nail-bitingly told, and splendidly illuminated in the illustrations by Roy, from the detailed tinkering on deck, to the claustrophobic innards of the Bathysphere, to the exotic never-before-seen life forms that crossed the searchlight.”
―The Bulletin, starred review
★ “The text brings in all the excitement and fear of the preparations and the dive itself. The illustrations, done in pencil, watercolor, gouache, and ink, go perfectly with the text in conveying the anticipation of the dive, the darkness as they go deeper, and the fear as some unexpected things happen.”
―School Library Connection, starred review