Review Blog

May 31 2019

Amazing Transport: Journey through the history of transport by Tom Jackson

cover image

Illus. by Chris Mould. Bloomsbury, 2019. ISBN: 9781408889770.
(Age: 7-12) Highly recommended. Themes: Transport History; Aeroplanes; Land transport; Ships. In the sky, sea, outer space and on land, humans have developed ways to get around other than by using their own strength. This book details the history of multiple types of transport over time and gives details of the significant or revolutionary changes that have led to the forms of transport that we know today. Filled with little snippets of information that make fascinating reading, this book will appeal to those who find the gathering of detail when they read an appealing activity. Everything from the velocipede, dirigible, Bugatti Veyron, Hippomobile to the USS Enterprise is explained in its place in history. (Note: the only Australian contributions to this history is the Road Train.) With no index, this would not be a source to direct children to in order to locate specific information, but this is more a book for entertainment than it is for information.
The power of this book is the presentation, which will appeal to young readers who love cartoon illustrations that convey intricate detail (almost a cross between Where's Wally and Diary of a Wimpy Kid). The cartoon-like fine line detail still conveys information but it is so appealing that it will win many to spend considerable time searching for new or humorous representations. At the beginning of each transport chapter is a double-page time-line conveyed in conventional manner at the bottom of the page, but the rest of the double page is filled with the black and white quirky meanderings of the history of that mode of transport. Even as an adult reader, I was impressed at the artistic and amusing quality of these pages. The information double page which follows is divided into small bites of information and each is clearly written with enough (but not too much) detail for a young reader, and there are also small descriptive cartoon illustrations. The front cover has an absolutely winning visual appeal - stark black and white cartoon style, with fluoro orange title and yellow additional information. This book will be chosen because of its cover alone, it would benefit from front-facing display!
Highly recommended for young readers aged 7 - 12.
Carolyn Hull

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