A SUBWAY FOR NEW YORK

Offering a treat for budding students of engineering, urban studies, construction projects or massive wheeled machines in general, Weitzman focuses on the initial stages in the building of what remains the world’s largest and busiest subway system. Pairing matter-of-fact explanatory texts to intricate, precisely drawn side views and cutaways, with human figures in period dress standing about for scale, he begins with the signing of Contract #1 in 1900. Then he goes on to show step by step how, during the ensuing four and a half years, workers cut through muck and solid rock, built bridges and braces, rerouted sewage and electric lines, laid down track and erected power stations. He also explains how early trains were controlled, and closes with notes on some of the system’s distinctive architectural details. As he is vague on the endeavor’s human cost, and nearly silent on its turbulent political and historical background, this doesn’t tell the whole story—but it does make engrossing viewing, and a good intro to the likes of Lesley A. DuTemple’s New York Subways (2003). (brief annotated source list) (Nonfiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2005

ISBN: 0-374-37284-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2005

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DORY STORY

Who is next in the ocean food chain? Pallotta has a surprising answer in this picture book glimpse of one curious boy. Danny, fascinated by plankton, takes his dory and rows out into the ocean, where he sees shrimp eating those plankton, fish sand eels eating shrimp, mackerel eating fish sand eels, bluefish chasing mackerel, tuna after bluefish, and killer whales after tuna. When an enormous humpbacked whale arrives on the scene, Danny’s dory tips over and he has to swim for a large rock or become—he worries’someone’s lunch. Surreal acrylic illustrations in vivid blues and red extend the story of a small boy, a small boat, and a vast ocean, in which the laws of the food chain are paramount. That the boy has been bathtub-bound during this entire imaginative foray doesn’t diminish the suspense, and the facts Pallotta presents are solidly researched. A charming fish tale about the one—the boy—that got away. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-88106-075-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2000

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FIVE TRUCKS

Floca (The Frightful Story of Harry Walfish, 1997, etc.) offers a great explication of the small trucks that airline passengers see scurrying around jets on the runways. In brightly painted illustrations and simple descriptions, he introduces each vehicle, explains what it does, and shows it in action, e.g., the truck called the baggage conveyor is shown hoisting suitcases into the belly of the plane. All five trucks’ duties point to a big finale when the plane takes off. Given preschoolers’ well-documented fascination with heavy machinery, this book will strike a chord with young air travelers, and answer the questions of older travelers as well. (Picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-7894-2561-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: DK Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1999

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