Review Blog

Oct 24 2018

Boats: Fast and Slow by Iris Volant and Jarom Vogel

cover image

Flying Eye Books, 2018. ISBN 9781911171928
(Age: 7-10) Subjects: Boats, Ships, Sea craft. Boats: Fast and Slow introduces in a simplified format the history of boats from the earliest rafts of woven reeds and Native American log canoes and on to boat festivals and modern sailing boats. The facts are presented in an easy to read format, beginning with a uncomplicated definition that 'boats carry people across water' and they are powered by sails, engines or human effort.
Not all boats are the same is such an obvious statement, why include it? Very basic overviews are included, without a depth of information that even young boat enthusiasts are keen to read. War boats introduces the Corinthian trireme used for battle by the Ancient Greeks. Three rows of oarsmen powered the sailing ship which had a ramming device at the bow of the ship. The seafaring Vikings built strong and sturdy longships capable of taken them across the seas to raid the Northern European countries.
Jumping to the early 19th century, we read of the Chinese pirate queen, Ching Shih, who commanded 300 ships and 30,000 pirates. Famous naturalist Charles Darwin and his sailing ship the HMS Beagle is included, with his scientific expedition to the Galapagos Islands noted. Steam-powered vessels are presented, manufactured in iron and steel, with coal furnaces to propel them across the oceans. From ancient Dragon Boat Festivals to the America's Cup, boats have been used for 'sport and leisure since the earliest times.'
Jarom Vogel's digital images sweep across the pages, the stylised boats, ships and recreational craft add interest to this historical look at seafaring history. Boats: fast and Slow is a useful resource for a Middle Primary class as a springboard into exploring the history of transport.
Rhyllis Bignell

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