Review Blog

May 01 2020

Machines in motion : The amazing history of transportation by Tom Jackson

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Illus. by Chris Mould. Bloomsbury Children's Books, 2020. ISBN : 9781547603374. 64pp.
(Age : 8-12) This large format non-fiction book covers a vast range of forms of transport ranging from ancient times to the present. It groups the forms of transport into 13 main types and each of these has a double page timeline along the bottom of the page with a humorous illustrated maze of these dates and the inventor/invention above it. This is followed by at least one double page of more detailed information on each of the more outstanding developments. For example the first topic is trains. The timeline page spans from 1500's German wagonways to 2004 Shanghai Maglev. The following double page goes into greater detail about 9 major types of train over time.
This book is suited to a child who is quite an enthusiastic browser of facts about forms of transport and is willing to spend time enjoying the detail and humour of Chris Mould's terrific black ink illustrations. There is so much to enjoy that I wonder why they didn't think to add a 'Where's Wally' element to the book. Chris Mould is a prolific illustrator of many series of fantasy fiction and non-fiction. In the past decade we have seen more esoteric books for children which are well illustrated and are an antidote to the plethora of information on the internet.
This non-glossy book is a good addition to this collection. Since it does not have an index it seems the publishers aren't creating a traditional reference book.
Jo Marshall

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