From School Library Journal
Grade 4 Up-In the tradition of Edwin Tunis's Oars, Sails and Steam (HarperCollins, 1977) and David Macaulay's Castle (1982) and Cathedral (1973, both Houghton), Platt and Biesty have created a unique, original, and highly visual description of life aboard an 18th-century British warship. Cross sections of Admiral Nelson's flagship HMS Victory are used to depict various aspects of seagoing life such as "Health at Sea," "Cooking and Eating," "Navigation and Discipline," "Battle Stations," etc. Biesty's pen-and-ink and watercolor drawings are accurate and highly detailed. Platt's accompanying text is clearly written and full of fascinating facts about the ship and the men who sailed her. Each spread of the oversized volume will encourage long, careful, and enthusiastic study by browsers and students alike. This first volume in a projected series on "incredible cross sections" will be popular in all libraries.
Don Reaber, Meadowdale High School, Lynnwood, WA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 4-7. The creators of Stephen Biesty's Incredible Cross-Sections have trained their writing and illustrative talents on an eighteenth-century British man-of-war. Moving from bow to stern, they dissect the wooden vessel into sections and then cut away each portion to analyze the structures and the activities performed within. In addition, each chapter discusses a different aspect of life at sea, from working to leisure time to cooking and eating to navigation and discipline. Readers studying the large cutaway diagrams will be fascinated by the detailed hustle-bustle typical of a ship carrying a crew of 800 sailors. But life was brutal on board, and Biesty doesn't flinch from some of its goriest aspects--a bucket of bloody amputated limbs beneath the surgeon's operating table, dismembered bodies plummeting into the sea during battle, and maggots in the sailors' biscuit rations. The intriguing text, presented in brief, anecdotal notes, is accompanied by smaller drawings, making this meticulously presented book a treasure of factual content and visual imagery. Ellen Mandel
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