Travel first class

15th March 1996 at 00:00
TRANSPORT: A VISUAL HISTORY By Anthony Wilson Dorling Kindersley Pounds 9.99 Age range 8 plus

Dorling Kindersley's visual history of transport uses images of striking clarity. Crisply focused photographs, very often of models and museum exhibits, appear against bright white pages free from the encumbrance of background.

Exquisite detail on a Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost and the construction of a five-masted junk is revealed for all to see, but the technique has a sanitising effect. The fume emitting truck and the coal burning locomotive look as if they have just had their cling-film wrappers removed. Even the howitzer looks cute.

A timeline forms the spinal column on which the information is hung and there is additional time-related information at the bottom of the page under the heading "milestones", all of which makes it easy to engage in a date-led search for particular information. Every page is a busy page and it is sometimes hard to force the eye to settle, but the volume is information packed and an excellent library book for eight to 14-year-olds.

I learnt that the parking meter was invented in Oklahoma, which has given me another reason for hating that song.

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