This oversized book comprises not pages but a 6 1/2–foot-wide foldout poster, with illustrations of 100 iconic aircraft, spacecraft, trains, cars, bikes and boats.
Vehicles range from the earliest mechanized transportation, such as the 1829 steam-powered Rocket, through cars such as the Bugatti Royale and the E-Type Jaguar to futuristic vehicles such as Virgin Galactic’s passenger-carrying SpaceShipTwo and the ENV fuel-cell motorcycle. The vehicles are arranged more or less in chronological order and have clearly been chosen for their special contributions to design or technological innovation. Ten key events or technological developments are listed on the inside of the cover. Transportation buffs will enjoy the attention to detail in Lemanski’s elegant illustrations, but those steeped in the subject may also be irritated by stylistic inaccuracies in some of the drawings, such as the shape of the 1959 Austin Mini. Detailed descriptions keyed to each vehicle are included on the back of the poster. This has the obvious drawback of rendering the captions invisible if readers want to take advantage of the poster format to display on a wall; completists will wish that the descriptions had been positioned immediately adjacent to the illustrations. The relatively flimsy card-stock binding will likely not stand up to heavy use.
Nevertheless, a valuable reference tool, a solid contribution to the literature of technology for teens and blissful eye candy for transportation enthusiasts. (Nonfiction. 6-14)