Like its series mates from Giant Vehicles (2014) on, a pleaser for fans of big rigs.

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FLYING MACHINES

From the Inside Vehicles series

Die-cut flaps offer glimpses inside eight 20th-century fliers, from Louis Bleriot’s 1909 Type XI to the space shuttle.

Biesty’s exactingly detailed painted portraits are the stars of the show—each presenting a type of passenger liner or freight hauler (most of them big and bulky) poised in flight, viewed from slightly above or below. Each also features four or so inconspicuous flaps that lift to reveal neatly drawn seats and storage spaces, internal bracing, fuel tanks, toilets, and other points of interest. Along with very brief accounts of each craft’s career, Graham adds surrounding captions that point out ailerons and cockpits, engines, exhaust ducts, and other physical features. Small human figures, most but not all light-skinned, impart a sense of scale. Where space permits, pertinent spot images of related items of interest—the Wrights’ Flyer, Harriet Quimby, a zeppelin, or other side subject—are tucked in. Only two aircraft covered, the U.S. Boeing 747 and the Russian Mil Mi-8 helicopter, are still in common use, so this album may appeal more to fans of aviation’s past than its present or future.

Like its series mates from Giant Vehicles (2014) on, a pleaser for fans of big rigs. (Informational novelty. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0281-6

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Templar/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

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Phoned-in illustrations keep this quick overview firmly planted on the launch pad.

THE BIG BEYOND

THE STORY OF SPACE TRAVEL

A capsule history of space exploration, from early stargazing to probes roaming the surface of Mars.

In loosely rhymed couplets Carter’s high-speed account zooms past the inventions of constellations, telescopes, and flying machines to the launches of Sputnik I, the “Saturn Five” (spelled out, probably, to facilitate the rhyme) that put men on the moon, and later probes. He caps it all with an enticing suggestion: “We’ll need an astronaut (or two)— / so what do you think? Could it be YOU?” Cushley lines up a notably diverse array of prospective young space travelers for this finish, but anachronistic earlier views of a dark-skinned astronaut floating in orbit opposite poetic references to the dogs, cats, and other animals sent into space in the 1950s and a model of the space shuttle on a shelf next to a line of viewers watching the televised moon landing in 1969 show no great regard for verisimilitude. Also, his full-page opening picture of the Challenger, its ports painted to look like a smiley face, just moments before it blew up is a decidedly odd choice to illustrate the poem’s opening countdown. As with his cosmological lyric Once upon a Star (2018, illustrated by Mar Hernández), the poet closes with a page of further facts arranged as an acrostic.

Phoned-in illustrations keep this quick overview firmly planted on the launch pad. (Informational picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-68010-147-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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It’s not the most dramatic version, but it’s a visually effective and serviceable addition to the rapidly growing shelf of...

THE FIRST MEN WHO WENT TO THE MOON

A 50th-anniversary commemoration of the epochal Apollo 11 mission.

Modeling her account on “The House That Jack Built” (an unspoken, appropriate nod to President John F. Kennedy’s foundational role in the enterprise), Greene takes Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins from liftoff to post-splashdown ticker-tape parade. Side notes on some spreads and two pages of further facts with photographs at the end, all in smaller type, fill in select details about the mission and its historical context. The rhymed lines are fully cumulated only once, so there is some repetition but never enough to grow monotonous: “This is the Moon, a mysterious place, / a desolate land in the darkness of space, / far from Earth with oceans blue.” Also, the presentation of the text in just three or fewer lines per spread stretches out the narrative and gives Brundage latitude for both formal and informal group portraits of Apollo 11’s all-white crew, multiple glimpses of our planet and the moon at various heights, and, near the end, atmospheric (so to speak) views of the abandoned lander and boot prints in the lunar dust.

It’s not the most dramatic version, but it’s a visually effective and serviceable addition to the rapidly growing shelf of tributes to our space program’s high-water mark. (Informational picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-58536-412-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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