Don't let the title mislead you--this book isn't about things that blow up like volcanoes or chemistry experiments gone awry. Instead, illustrator Stephen Biesty and author Richard Platt (Stephen Biesty's Cross-Sections Castle
, Stephen Beisty's Incredible Body
) have once again blown the cover off places as big as Venice and as off-limits as a Space Station so that young ones can see what's inside. This talented duo knows exactly what interests children. For example, at the Space Station young readers get to see cool stuff like cockpit controls and the module where space experiments are performed, as well as gross stuff like what happens to an astronaut with space sickness. Looking inside a movie studio, kids can peek at the makeup and hairstyling rooms (where glamour gals and demon monsters come to life) as well as an ocean liner in a huge water tank that's being attacked by a remote-control giant squid. With so much of the big world remaining hidden or inaccessible to children, fact-filled books such as these are instantly fascinating, fun, and even (sneakily) educational. (Ages 7 and older) --Gail Hudson
From School Library Journal
Grade 4-7?Fascinating bits and pieces of information supplied by text and cutaway illustrations on every page make this book a browser's delight. Subjects range from a 19th-century steam tractor to an Antarctica base to a futuristic space station to the inner workings of a windmill. Some of the pictures are almost breathtaking in their detail and beauty. Especially notable is the fold-out spread of a city, which goes all the way down to the formation of the earth at the bottom. Some of the illustrations, such as the view of Venice or the "exploded" human body, are so packed with detail that they are almost overwhelming. An extremely minor complaint: the text of the double-page spread on London's Tower Bridge explains the hydraulic system that was used to lift it, but doesn't explain that this system is no longer in use. Otherwise, the book lives up to its "incredible" billing.?Todd Morning, Schaumburg Township Public Library, IL
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.