The Horse & the Iron Ball: A Journey Through Time, Space, and Technology

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9780822521587: The Horse & the Iron Ball: A Journey Through Time, Space, and Technology
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A pictorial history of the universe that explains how all things are related--even a horse and an iron ball.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 5-7-Readers expecting the significance of this title to be made manifest in this prose poem about life, the universe, and selected elements will be disappointed, as a clear, well-reasoned presentation of information takes a backseat to sweeping rhetoric and dazzling graphic design. The book opens with teeming swarms of painted or computer-generated stars that regroup as pages turn into stylized, stippled earthly scenes, from mounted warriors to a steam locomotive, before going back to the universe's beginning to re-create the formation of "super-stars," the elements, our planet, and finally the life thereon. Unfortunately, an endpaper time-line grid places the label "1 billion years" between "1 million years" and "100 million years." The misrepresentation continues with such moot statements as, "For two millennia, horses provided the major means of transportation-"; in an appended notes/glossary section, "Nova" and "Supernova" are listed separately but not clearly distinguished; and a claim that high-mass stars only fuse elements up to silicon contradicts an earlier statement. Enhanced by several partial-page foldouts, the visuals here are dramatic, but Brian Jones's Space: A Three Dimensional Journey (Dial, 1991; o.p.) will catch and hold the attention of children more effectively. Consider this showy but superficial production only for very deep collections.
John Peters, New York Public Library
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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