Monday, April 16, 2012

Nonfiction Monday: Explore Titanic by Peter Chrisp

EXPLORE TITANIC: Breathtaking New Pictures, Recreated with Digital Technology
by Peter Chrisp, with illustrations by Somchith Vongprachanh
Barron's, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4380-7159-6
Grades 3 and up
Reviewed from purchased copy.
Boys and girls will be enthralled by this dramatic pictorial history of the great ocean liner "R.M.S. Titanic, " and its fateful sinking in the North Atlantic. Approximately 125 photos and illustrations in color and black and white--including 12 astonishing 3D-rendered graphics--tell the "Titanic's " story, from its 1911 launching at the Belfast shipyard to its tragic destruction on April 15, 1912 during its maiden Atlantic crossing. Young readers will see faithful reproductions of both exterior and interior ship's details, from the Boiler Room and Engine Room far below decks to the luxury passengers' cabins and the ship's grand ballroom. Among the 3D-rendered artworks are two remarkable double-gatefold illustrations--The Titanic under steam A cutaway diagram of the ship. Other 3D artworks include--The Grand Staircase in First Class A First Class Cabin "Parlor Suite" The Bridge and Wheelhouse The First Class Dining Room Second Class Promenade Deck The Grand Staircase flooding as the ship sinks . . . and more.
The end product of meticulous research, this book's 3D-rendered artwork virtually draws readers aboard the ship, employing painstakingly realistic facsimiles of details both large and small. Enclosed with this unusual book is a CD-ROM that walks viewers through the ship's interior from stem to stern, showing hundreds of details. Viewers can zoom in and out to examine details more closely, and they can move around inside cabin interiors in a way that heightens the illusion of realism.
I found this book fascinating and gorgeous.  The 3-D renderings are very detailed and provide a fascinating look at the famous ship.  I learned quite a bit about the building of the ship.  For example, I had no idea the ship was built in Ireland.  I also learned that the ship's builders did not call her unsinkable, that was a myth that developed later.  I think the most powerful part of this book are the quotes from individuals who sailed on the ship, from both survivors and victims.  The text is divided up into short sections that match the visual elements.  This makes the book especially appropriate for reluctant readers.  The illustrations include 3-D renderings, along with photographs, artifacts, quotes and primary documents.  I think the most powerful images are the pictures of the ship as a whole.  These give the reader a feel for how impressive the Titanic really was and the shock and horror involved in her sinking.  As I read this I felt sympathy for those who suffered and lost so much.

The CD offers the user a 3-D look at some of the main features of the ship, including one of the boiler rooms, the bridge, the promenade, the staircase, and the 1st class dining room.  It's interesting to turn 360 degrees and see the room as if you are standing in it.  I recommend this book to all those who find themselves fascinated by this tragic event.

Head on over to The Nonfiction Detectives for today's Nonfiction Monday.

1 comment:

  1. 3-D? Sounds amazing. I think that is a new take on a very common subject.


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