The Brooklyn Bridge: The Story of the World's Most Famous Bridge and the Remarkable Family That Built It.

Elizabeth Mann, Author, Alan Witschonke, Illustrator
Elizabeth Mann, Author, Alan Witschonke, Illustrator Mikaya Press $22.95 (48p) ISBN 978-0-9650493-0-6
Reviewed on: 09/02/1996
Release date: 09/01/1996
This first volume of the Wonders of the World series offers an uneven account of the problem-plagued construction of the renowned suspension bridge. Brief, choppy sentences and too much extraneous technical detail slow the narrative's pace considerably, while sidebars prove distracting. Yet Mann includes some lively analogies (describing the anchorages, she says, ""That's like having 12,000 large elephants hanging on to the main cables""), and she succeeds in giving young readers a close-up, on-the-scene view of a complex engineering project. The unfortunate design presents a visual hodgepodge of simple, uncluttered pages and busy spreads featuring illustrations of various media. These include period drawings that range from delicately detailed to blurry; photographs; and disappointingly stiff original art by Witschonke. Two gatefolds, one vertical and one horizontal, are similarly disjointed, not visually integrated into facing spreads. Ages 7-up. (Oct.)