Locks, Crocs, and Skeeters: The Story of the Panama Canal

Overview

For more than 400 years, since the time of Charles V of Spain, people had dreamed about a canal that would carry ships from ocean to ocean across the Isthmus of Panama. The dream finally came true when on the fifteenth of August, 1914, the steamer Ancon, a cement boat, sailed quietly through the Panama Canal. But none of the dreamers could have forseen the disappointments, failures, suffering, and loss of life that surrounded the actual building of the canal. By skillfully combining poetry, history, concise ...
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Overview

For more than 400 years, since the time of Charles V of Spain, people had dreamed about a canal that would carry ships from ocean to ocean across the Isthmus of Panama. The dream finally came true when on the fifteenth of August, 1914, the steamer Ancon, a cement boat, sailed quietly through the Panama Canal. But none of the dreamers could have forseen the disappointments, failures, suffering, and loss of life that surrounded the actual building of the canal. By skillfully combining poetry, history, concise biographies, and the dramatic story of the incredible way in which the deadly mosquitoes were conquered, Ms. Parker documents the creation of what has been called "the eighth wonder of the world."
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Judy Katsh
An odd mixture, but it works! Here's a picture book format that opens with a grisly poem that was written as an exposé of the horrid health and safety conditions in the Isthmus of Panama in the early 1900s. Following that is an explanation of the people, politics, and procedures that were used to tame the dangers and realize the dream of a shortcut connection between the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans. What results is a fascinating tribute to creative problem-solving and persistence. This book is definitely NOT for report-writers only.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-A fascinating mixture of history and biography. Parker begins by illustrating James Stanley Gilbert's poem "Beyond the Chagres," which vividly portrays the horrific dangers of the jungle. However, the watercolor, pen, and colored-pencil illustrations lighten the tone somewhat. In the pages that follow, the author presents the history of the region, beginning with the earliest explorers over 400 years ago and continuing through the completion of the canal to its uses and status today. She also offers brief biographies of the significant people involved in the venture. The importance of the canal and its costs in human, monetary, and ecological terms are objectively presented. The wonderfully clear and detailed maps and drawings are extraordinarily helpful in supporting the clearly written, informative text, while Parker's portraits of the people provide the touch of humor that is characteristic of much of her nonfiction. (The snake slithering above Teddy Roosevelt's head is a perfect example.) An exceptional work that deserves a place in every collection, and that will serve nicely as an introduction to Judith St. George's The Panama Canal (Putnam, 1989).-Linda Greengrass, Bank Street College Library, New York City
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688122416
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/1/1996
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 8 years
  • Product dimensions: 10.32 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.34 (d)

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