My life at the bottom The story of a lonesome axolotl

Linda Bondestam

Book - 2022

A new kind of climate change story, narrated by an adorable axolotl [a type of salamander], possibly the last of its kind.

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Location Call Number   Status
Children's Room New Shelf jE/Bondesta (NEW SHELF) Due Oct 14, 2022
Animal fiction
Illustrated works
Picture books
Brooklyn, New York : Restless Books 2022.
First Restless Books hardcover edition
Item Description
"First published as Mitt bottenliv by Förlaget, Helsinki, 2020, and Berghs Förlag, Stockholm, 2020"--Cover, page 2.
"Published in English by arrangement with Rights & Brands"--Cover, page 2.
Physical Description
42 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 23 x 30 cm
Main Author
Linda Bondestam (author)
Other Authors
A. A. Prime (translator)
Review by School Library Journal Reviews

PreS-Gr 3—In a lake near a city, a single axolotl lives with tiger salamanders, fish, and snails for company. Evidence of "big lugs" (humans) abounds: on land, buildings spew dark smoke into the air, and underwater, the axolotl and its friends find plenty of "exciting treasures" (trash). When the tiger salamanders grow lungs and venture out of the water, the axolotl is lonelier than ever, until a "raging monster wave" sweeps it out of the lake and into a surprising new environment: a "pet shop zoo" containing another axolotl. When the storm clears, the "big lugs" are gone, and the two axolotls happily repopulate the lake. An axolotl is a fascinating choice of narrator for this story that works on two levels: it's one creature's journey, but it's also the story of how climate change is affecting all the creatures on the planet. The axolotl's wide-set eyes, with a single line or curve for its mouth, convey innocent happiness, sadness, and surprise in turn. Color is used effectively to shift the tone throughout, from cool underwater hues to the light and air pollution (and, on one spread, wildfire) on land above. VERDICT This charming-but-not-preachy story could be a real conversation starter for preschoolers and elementary students, and encourage budding environmentalists and climate activists; recommended.—Jenny Arch Copyright 2022 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

From award-winning Nordic author and illustrator Linda Bondestam comes a new kind of climate change story, narrated by an adorable axolotl who is—possibly—the last of its kind.In a forest of seaweed there was ME, a rare and beautiful little axolotl, going for my first-ever swim.So graceful, and yet so lonesome—out of 987 eggs, mine was the only one that hatched.Who knows, maybe I was the last axolotl in these waters?At the bottom of a lake in Mexico City, our axolotl narrator goes to underwater school, collects treasures tossed away by the big lugs on land, and has dance parties with tiger salamander friends. Life is good!But as the world gets hotter and hotter, the water gets murkier. Friends become harder to find, and the lonesome axolotl grows even lonelier. Until one day when, out of the blue, a colossal wave carries the axolotl into a surprising new future….Bittersweet, droll, existential, and hopeful, My Life at the Bottom is a tale from the climate crisis unlike any other. Combining her irresistible visual wit with exquisite aquatic art and rare empathy, Linda Bondestam brings us a story of catastrophe that bursts with life.