Gr 3-4–This series suffers from simplicity, misconceptions, and errors. Chapter spreads include a bold-face paragraph introducing the machine and are loaded with brightly colored stock photos–some are action shots–that depict a variety of the machines in each category. Additional data is presented as captions to smaller photos. Each chapter has an “Incredible Fact” box. The titles have a variety of problems. The “Stats & Facts” sidebars are not always consistent in content from one chapter to the next. Race Track, for example, lists most engine sizes in liters or ccs, but the dragster is listed in gallons. The stylized font of some captions is hard to read. These books do not warrant purchasing.
- Annie Laura Smith
Just imagine space transportation of the future with spaceships and space trips being as common as today's air flights. The book explores today's most advanced technology for space transportation and suggests how this technology might change in the future. The "Contents" page shows the scope of the information. The "Introduction" explains the expense and need for development of vehicles that will travel the vast distances in space. The text, vivid photographs, and other graphics illustrate the elements of the various modes of space transportation. These explanations include: Future Launch, Space Base Spaceplanes, Star Wars, Moon Town, Life on Mars, Off-World Mining, Space Probes, Landers and Rovers, Space Tourism, Aliens Ahoy!, and Interstellar Travel. "Look Further!" suggests that the twenty-third century may see massive space cities circling the earth and shuttle cruisers transporting people to these remote locations. "An "Index" provides easy navigation through the material. In Space is part of the "Future Transport Series" which also includes: On Land, By Air and On Water. These books provide a history of travel and give young readers a look into the future of technology for all types of transportation. Reviewer: Annie Laura Smith
- Hazel Buys
Machines that make it possible to soar above the earth's atmosphere are propelled differently from cars and trucks that travel on land or the ships that cruise on the sea. The launch technologies for the Space Shuttle, space probes and space telescope, among other instruments and vehicles that have been sent into space, are explained concisely and clearly in brief text that is packed with facts and fun information. The machines are described in short paragraphs, one example per two-page spread. A sidebar labeled "Stats and Facts" lists specifics about each example of space technology in a contrast-colored box. A double-bubble sidebar labeled "That's Incredible" announces an interesting or unusual fact related to the content on the two pages. Photographs, bright colors and a high-contrast layout add to the appeal and support the high energy context of the information. The combination of brief overview from the text and dramatic photographs that fill, but don't crowd, the pages is successful and dynamic, sure to appeal to this age group. This book, one of the "Machines Rule!" series, concludes with a glossary, a list of related web sites and further reading, and an index. This book is recommended for an elementary school library or science and technology studies classroom. Reviewer: Hazel Buys