Monday, November 10, 2014

Boswell Taylor, ed. Ships: Picture Teach Yourself (1977)

     Boswell Taylor, ed. Ships: Picture Teach Yourself (1977) One of a series of “project books” intended to give primary and middle school students information on some subject. It was assembled at a time when giving students “projects” to do was the vogue, and no doubt many students picked up all kinds of oddments of knowledge and perhaps even general insights. Children of primary and middle school age love to accumulate facts, so this book no doubt found some happy readers.
     The book consists of many black and white illustrations of watercraft, many of them reproductions original sources such as stone carvings. The brief well-crafted captions waste no words. Reading it from beginning to end in one go will give you a pretty good overview of the development of watercraft and their uses in transport and trade. Nicely done, but sadly obsolescent if not obsolete when people believe that a few clicks will give them reliable information.
     It takes less than an hour to read and look at every item in this book; and exploring the questions it raises could prompt historical interests. It no doubt had just that effect on some of its readers. I liked it. **½

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