A train takes young travelers through time and space to witness highlights in the history of transportation.
Welcomed aboard by Pierre the conductor and Nancy the tour guide (both, like all but a few figures in background crowds, white), readers set out on a journey that zigzags through various eras, from ancient times to the 1930s, and geographically from San Francisco to St. Petersburg. On the trip they will see the first appearances of wheels and automobiles, hot air balloons, submarines, and other vehicles, plus significant inventions from good roads to steam, electric, and jet engines. Lifting flaps cut into the painted illustrations of each scene reveals diagrams and descriptions of the technology and physical principles that made each conveyance work—with, as an extra, clues in diverse types of codes and ciphers to each subsequent destination. Though the tour ends before it gets to spacecraft or maglev trains and mostly stays in Europe and North America, it does stop for appreciative looks at several vehicles imagined by Leonardo da Vinci and also pauses for nods to the inventors of the rickshaw, roller skates, and other lesser-studied ways of getting from here to there.
A smooth ride, with a few stops that are off the well-beaten path. (Informational novelty. 3-5)