TRAINS

A celebration more than a complete chronicle, this beautifully illustrated volume offers a personal and affectionate look at the place of the railroad in history. Beginning with the impact of trains on his home town of High Point, N.C., Curlee looks backward to the invention of the locomotive in England, describes the constant improvements made by various engineers and weighs the impact of the increasing use of trains to transport freight and people across the countryside. He notes in particular that railroads supported the expansion of the United States and the fulfillment of our “manifest destiny.” His overview, couched in sophisticated language, doesn’t confine itself to the past; refreshingly, the author proposes a viable future for this transformative transportation technology. Stylized paintings in mostly muted colors offer varying perspectives, from a man and child dwarfed by a huge, sleek engine to the mercifully abstract depiction of a fiery calamity. Labeled diagrams supplement the text and provide additional information. Sure to fascinate existing enthusiasts, this elegant survey will likely also create some new fans. (bibliography) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 15, 2009

ISBN: 978-1-4169-4848-3

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2009

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The whimsy is slight—the story is not—and both its interest and its vocabulary are for the youngest members of this age...

THE MOUSE AND THE MOTORCYCLE

Beverly Cleary has written all kinds of books (the most successful ones about the irrepressible Henry Huggins) but this is her first fantasy.

Actually it's plain clothes fantasy grounded in the everyday—except for the original conceit of a mouse who can talk and ride a motorcycle. A toy motorcycle, which belongs to Keith, a youngster, who comes to the hotel where Ralph lives with his family; Ralph and Keith become friends, Keith gives him a peanut butter sandwich, but finally Ralph loses the motorcycle—it goes out with the dirty linen. Both feel dreadfully; it was their favorite toy; but after Keith gets sick, and Ralph manages to find an aspirin for him in a nearby room, and the motorcycle is returned, it is left with Ralph....

The whimsy is slight—the story is not—and both its interest and its vocabulary are for the youngest members of this age group. (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 1965

ISBN: 0380709244

Page Count: 180

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1965

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WEATHER

Remarking that ``nothing about the weather is very simple,'' Simon goes on to describe how the sun, atmosphere, earth's rotation, ground cover, altitude, pollution, and other factors influence it; briefly, he also tells how weather balloons gather information. Even for this outstanding author, it's a tough, complex topic, and he's not entirely successful in simplifying it; moreover, the import of the striking uncaptioned color photos here isn't always clear. One passage—``Cumulus clouds sometimes build up into towering masses called cumulus congestus, or swelling cumulus, which may turn into cumulonimbus clouds''—is superimposed on a blue-gray, cloud-covered landscape. But which kind of clouds are these? Another photo, in blue-black and white, shows what might be precipitation in the upper atmosphere, or rain falling on a darkened landscape, or...? Generally competent and certainly attractive, but not Simon's best. (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-688-10546-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1993

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