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Children's LiteratureSince the First World War, when they emerged on the battlefield, tanks have exerted a compelling hold upon the imaginations of military enthusiasts. In their infancy, tanks were lumbering creatures that frightened foes and comrades alike. Over the years, tanks have evolved into highly complex and technological weapons systems. A modern primary battle tank can move at high speed, is equipped to fight in environments contaminated by WMD, and can destroy targets at night that are beyond the range of normal human sight. Tanks are also weapons of destruction. Their primary purpose is to suppress enemies and swiftly move across terrain. In this title author Doeden presents a first look at these armored vehicles. In slightly more than 100 words, Doeden offers primary grade readers a synopsis of how a tank is operated as well as its primary armaments. A contemporary photograph of American Abrams Tanks and their crews accompanies each page of text. In considering this title in the "Mighty Machines" series a few ethical concerns pop up. While tanks are indeed "mighty machines" they are also instruments of war and violence. Tanks are designed to kill people. Their crews often die in horrible ways. Is this really fodder for a picture book aimed at an audience of children in pre-school or first grade? This question can be answered in several ways but should at least be addressed prior to the purchase of this illustrated work. 2005, Capstone Press, Ages 3 to 7.
—Greg M. Romaneck