STEAMBOATS

THE STORY OF LAKERS, FERRIES, AND MAJESTIC PADDLE-WHEELERS

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. 1, 2007

ISBN: 1-59078-434-0

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2006

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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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THE PUMPKIN BOOK

The Pumpkin Book (32 pp.; $16.95; Sept. 15; 0-8234-1465-5): From seed to vine and blossom to table, Gibbons traces the growth cycle of everyone’s favorite autumn symbol—the pumpkin. Meticulous drawings detail the transformation of tiny seeds to the colorful gourds that appear at roadside stands and stores in the fall. Directions for planting a pumpkin patch, carving a jack-o’-lantern, and drying the seeds give young gardeners the instructions they need to grow and enjoy their own golden globes. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 1999

ISBN: 0-8234-1465-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1999

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