STEAMBOATS by Karl Zimmermann


The Story of Lakers, Ferries, and Majestic Paddle-Wheelers
Age Range: 9 - 11
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Despite lines like “the wheelhouse was alive with vibration from the wind, moaning and shrieking,” this disappointing companion to Steam Locomotives: Whistling, Chugging, Smoking Iron Horses of the Past (2004) reads less like a similarly robust tale, and more like a tedious tally of names and routes. Zimmerman opens with a personal but abruptly truncated voyage aboard a coal-fired Lake Michigan cargo vessel, and closes with a question about the “authenticity” of modern steamships. With only occasional breaks for historical anecdotes, she uses the main text to list ships that once plied—or far less commonly, still ply—lakes, harbors and straits in North America and parts of Europe. An array of stately Mississippi riverboats, utilitarian ferries, graceful excursion boats and rugged “Lakers” are shown to good advantage in the many sharp, bright color photos, and Zimmerman has certainly done his research—but young readers aren’t going to come away understanding how these ships were built or operated, or why anyone should care. (resource list) (Nonfiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 1-59078-434-0
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Boyds Mills
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2006


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