November 11, 2018


Deep Underwater by Irene Luxbacher takes readers deep under the ocean's surface to explore the beauty of the nature found within.

Sophia lives by the sea and claims to know all of its secrets. She invites readers on a journey underneath the surface where we discover everything from colorful fish to mermaids to shipwrecks with treasure. As we dive farther and farther down, all matter of imaginative things crop up: we see aliens, dinosaur bones, and even a lost pair of glasses. But Sophia is never alone, no matter how far she goes, because she's always surrounded by ocean life, not to mention us, the readers! And in the end, we see her reading in bed with her family. Was it all in our imaginations?

There's hardly time to pick each of Luxbacher's spreads apart to describe the amount of work that goes into each one, but it's safe to say that Luxbacher is a master of detail, and every part of her illustrations is carefully thought-out and created. Luxbacher has a pretty labor-intensive system for creating her artwork, and it's that attention to detail at every stage that makes the illustrations so successful: first she uses graphite, watercolor, and acrylics, combining them digitally, and then she prints them out using archival inks and papers. Then she adds graphite, colored pencils, and collage materials to the final product. This intense layering makes readers feel almost completely enveloped in water and animals and kelp forests, and, like Sophia, we never feel alone surrounded by the warmth of colors Luxbacher provide for us.

Deep Underwater published in August from Groundwood Books!

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