Cars, Trucks, and Bikes

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Peg Glisson
Covering a variety of what it calls road machines, this entry in the "How It Works" series briefly covers several types of bicycles, cars, and trucks. It took about 2,500 years from the invention of the wheel to its use on wagons and chariots drawn by animals or slaves and another 3,300 years to invent wheeled vehicles with engines; both developments dramatically impacted history. The brief information about each vehicle, among which are the road race bicycle, touring motorcycle, sedan car, super sports car, dragster, pickup truck, semi-truck, and tow truck and more, makes this better for browsing than for serious research. Information is presented in many small boxes on each two-page spread, some of which are linked to drawings, cutaways, or diagrams. Diagrams detailing how things work, such as a turbo-diesel, brakes, or fuel injection, are generally clear, as are the explanations in the text. A "Eureka" box underscores the history or some unusual feature of each vehicle, while a "What Next" box looks to the future. There is also a photograph included on each spread. Unfortunately, the thin line going from the description/explanation is often hard to follow to its destination on the drawing. Drawings are occasionally used more than once, such as the bicycle gear/chain/pedal on page 6; it shows up on page 8 as well, this time above a paragraph describing chain and sprocket gears. The page 7 steering diagram appears again on page 27. Parker generalizes at times; for instance on page 7 he states "Steering mechanisms have changed little for a century," when in fact rack and pinion steering and power steering, which have not been around for 100 years, have markedly improved steering. Overall, though, this is a useful overview for the intended age group. It is well indexed, has a glossary, and web links (providing considerably more information) to explore. Reviewer: Peg Glisson
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781422217924
  • Publisher: Mason Crest Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/2010
  • Series: How It Works Series
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 818,196
  • Age range: 8 - 11 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 11.90 (h) x 0.30 (d)

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