Lifelong naturalist William Beebe is most famous for his record-breaking deep-sea dive. In 1934, he and partner Otis Barton descended 3,028 feet into the unexplored depths of the ocean in a bathysphere, invented for the purpose. This colorful introduction to Beebe’s life for younger readers opens with his parents’ encouragement of his interests in the natural world and his early work as a curator and collector of birds before he developed the idea of observing animals in their native habitat and began to focus on undersea life. Sheldon’s lush double-page paintings, in acrylic, gouache and India ink, show young Will surrounded by animals, alive and stuffed, and the older man at work in a variety of settings. They offer some gentle humor–as when explorer Beebe’s hat blows off, revealing his balding head–and show Beebe aging gracefully. Although the dive is the focal point of the story, the author tracks this early ecologist’s entire career. Backmatter includes further information, quotations from Beebe’s writings, and a glossary and bibliography. A fine offering for would-be explorers.