Kevin Tong The Earth Machine

ISBN 13: 9781601080011

The Earth Machine

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9781601080011: The Earth Machine
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Lying in bed at night a young boy anticipates the morning, when his father will show him what he does for work. The boy's imagination runs wild, weaving an intricate and intriguing scenario that takes the reader on a journey to the very center of the earth.

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Review:

A little boy, Alex, takes a dream time ride with his father in an elevator that can go past the sky. Alex discovers there are machines that keep the Sun, the Moon, the Earth, and the stars moving. Returning to Earth, father and son then follow stairs down into the earth where Alex sees the system of tubs and pipes that water the trees. Venturing farther down, they enter a small room, which houses the Earth Machine. Alex will one-day use the machine to keep the whole system of machines running just as his father has always done. As with all dreams, Alex wakes to find reality different, not as amazing as his dream, but still right. The illustrations create a mood that is slightly oppressive using dark browns, greens, and oranges and the small proportion of Alex to his surroundings. You feel underground. Although the text tells us that Alex is amazed by what he sees, his face shows anxiety more than amazement. Dreams can be like that. Although not the lightest of picture books, it will start children thinking about how the earth really works. You'll also find a surprise on the screen of the Earth Machine if you hold the book upside down to a mirror. --ChildrensPictureBook.info (May 2007)

From Booklist:

In a remote house at the base of a mountain, a young boy learns that his father is an engineer to the world. Father reveals his secret job by taking Alex in a hidden elevator, first to a mountain top, where Alex views machines that make the world's wind, and then down into the depths of Earth, which hold the planet's control system--a computer that "makes the day become night . . . the rain fall, the trees grow." The weak ending, which wraps up with an "it-was-all-a-dream" cliche, points to the author's inexperience; like other titles published by Red Cygnet, this is created by an art-school student (Tong has recently graduated). The story's strength is the mixed-media artwork, which combines boldly outlined, comics-style figures with textured backgrounds and ornate borders. Too few picture books present a science-fiction premise, and the wild notion of a world run by computers will attract kids who love machines. See the News and Views column on p.83 for more information about the publisher's unique mission to support student artists. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Tong, Kevin
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ISBN 10: 1601080018 ISBN 13: 9781601080011
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