An underpowered survey.

READ REVIEW

FIREFLY ENCYCLOPEDIA OF TRANSPORTATION

A COMPREHENSIVE LOOK AT THE WORLD OF TRANSPORTATION

A visual history of transportation technology, from early wheels to the rover Curiosity.

Readers aren’t going to be carried very far by this ponderous assemblage of staid modern stock images and (here and there) photos paired to perfunctory notes on top speeds, uses, and the like. They are grouped by general type, with occasional changes of pace, such as a quick glance at some varieties of “greener” transport shoehorned in between the trains and aircraft. The pictures—most of them small, depicting vehicles unencumbered by visible drivers or crews, and monotonously pinned to pale, neutral-colored background grids—are laid into their arbitrarily ordered single-topic spreads without regard for relative scale or visual flow. Despite offering looks at a great array of wheeled, airborne, and nautical vehicles of the present as well as the past, the gallery is not only selective and stingy at best with action or cutaway views, but stale to boot. The newest fighter jet (an F-117, 1981 vintage), for example, was superseded in 2008; the latest model of electric auto mentioned outside the closing timeline is a 2010 Nissan Leaf; and the most recent space probe, Cassini-Huygens, was launched in 1997. Moreover, so Eurocentric is the viewpoint that only four of the 23 older types of sailing vessels on display are not European or North American.

An underpowered survey. (timeline, list of records, index) (Reference. 10-13)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-77085-931-9

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Firefly

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

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SHIPWRECKS, MONSTERS, AND MYSTERIES OF THE GREAT LAKES

Awash in mighty squalls, tales of heroism and melodramatic chapter headings like “The Lady Elgin: Death in the Darkness,” these marine yarns recount the violent ends of nine of the more than 6,000 ships that have “left the bottoms of Lakes Ontario, Erie, Huron, Michigan, and Superior…littered with their wreckage and the bones of the people who sailed on them” over the past four centuries. For added value, Butts heads each shipwreck chapter with a photo or image of the unfortunate vessel. He then closes with so many Great Lakes monster sightings that they take on an aura of authenticity just by their very number, an effect aided and abetted by his liberal use of primary sources. Younger readers who might get bogged down in Michael Varhola’s more thorough Shipwrecks and Lost Treasures: Great Lakes (2008)—or turned off by its invented dialogue and embroidered details—will find these robust historical accounts more digestible and at least as engrossing. The bibliography is dominated by Canadian sources, as befitting the book’s origin, but there's plenty here to interest American readers. (Nonfiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: Jan. 11, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-77049-206-6

Page Count: 88

Publisher: Tundra

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2010

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Tickets (not to mention affordable ones) may still be a few years off…but it’s never too soon to start planning.

THE SPACE ADVENTURER'S GUIDE

YOUR PASSPORT TO THE COOLEST THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN THE UNIVERSE

With a new era of commercial space flight in the offing, here’s a timely guide for young prospective travelers headed to choice astro-destinations.

Whether the itinerary features a suborbital flight, extended stays aboard the International Space Station, or longer excursions to the moon, Mars, a comet, Jupiter, or Saturn, McMahon supplies not only advice about preparing for each journey and coping with issues from boredom to bone loss, but also suggestions for appropriate activities. These include swimming in a zero-gravity pool, spotting certain terrestrial landmarks from orbit, or windsurfing on Saturn’s moon Titan. The author fills in background facts about major sights on the planets and other destinations, and he describes several spacecraft currently operational or under development. Additional reflections from such experienced astronauts as Chris Hadfield and Sunita Williams, plus plenty of color photos complementing Holinaty’s illustrations, bring space tourism that much closer to seeming like a real thing. Frank cautionary references to “consciousness-losing, barf-inducing g-forces” and other hazards only serve to buff up the promise that the experience of space travel will be a vivid one. Humans in the photos are diverse, as are Holinaty’s cartoon figures of space-suited young travelers.

Tickets (not to mention affordable ones) may still be a few years off…but it’s never too soon to start planning. (index) (Nonfiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-77138-032-4

Page Count: 100

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

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