BIESTY, Stephen (illus.) Rod Green (text) Stephen Biesty’s Giant Vehicles Walker, 2014 unpaged $24.95 ISBN 9781922244444 SCIS 1662141
First published in the UK in 2014, this edition has been produced for the Australian market. In large format landscape style, with thick cardboard pages and meticulous drawings of machinery, this lift-the-flap book brings to adult book lovers all the pleasures of a past era when children’s books were interactive, hardy, and beautifully designed. Inspired by the styles of architectural and engineering line drawings, with devotion to detail and scale, and an elegant feel for the drama of giant machinery, this book introduces its reader to the giant super-train, the jumbo aircraft, a whopper chopper, a real moon rocket from 1969, a mighty mining dumper, a floating hotel, and a strange and monstrous submarine from the Soviet era. The beautifully designed flaps give the reader under-the-skin peeks at what is inside these giants, while the delicate text boxes offer the most important facts in clear and simple prose. The book is in part a paeon to human ingenuity, but also an indulgence in fascination for all the ways technology has made the monstrous possible. In an age when computers, phones and cameras are becoming more and more marvels of the miniature or the virtual, this book is a nostalgic reminder of the gigantism that has always been there as part of our industrial adventure over the past two hundred years. This is one of those books you will want your child to explore and explore again, and then keep for their children to do the same. There is something magical about machinery presented in this way. Recommended for little engineers 4 years to 8 years and beyond.
reviewed by Kevin Brophy