A noteworthy review of Machines at Work from Children's Literature on January 1, 2002
Here’s a series that does exactly what it purports to do—introduces military vehicles (photographed on the ground at Colorado’s Fort Carson), explains what they do, indicates where the people sit, and what the controls do. Text explains that ‘Humvee’ is a nickname for ‘High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle’ but only ‘Mobility’ and ‘Vehicle’ are in bold type. In an ending ‘Up Close’ section, the camera draws back to show the sum of the whole vehicle with arrows and numbers keyed to the parts just discussed. It’s a fine choice for high-interest reading with boys, especially, who need practice with simple repetitive but not insultingly easy text of about four sentences to a page. Except for a soldier or two at the controls, it’s all about big, powerful, useful machines. A glossary (there’s no index) of seven to ten words defines and shows how to pronounce key vocabulary.