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Crossing on Time: Steam Engines, Fast Ships, and a Journey to the New World (Hardcover)

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Crossing on Time: Steam Engines, Fast Ships, and a Journey to the New World By David Macaulay Cover Image
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Staff Reviews

With his signature detailed drawings, David Macaulay uses his personal story of immigrating to the US in 1957 to explore the history and design of engines and ships. He plays with scale - a huge hand on the page moves parts of a machine to show how it works - to explain complexities. The amusing details - a rabbit startled by a moving piston, a face peeking out a porthole, and a half eaten cookie on a drafting table - draw the reader into the story behind the science. There is more to discover with each reading!

— From Liza's Picks


David Macaulay, co-creator of the international bestseller The Way Things Work, brings his signature curiosity and detailing to the story of the steamship in this meticulously researched and stunningly illustrated book.

Prior to the 1800s, ships crossing the Atlantic Ocean relied on the wind in their sails to make their journeys. But invention of steam power ushered in a new era of transportation that would change ocean travel forever: the steamship.

Award-winning author-illustrator David Macaulay guides readers through the fascinating history that culminated in the building of the most advanced—and last—of these steamships: the SS United States. This book artfully explores the design and construction of the ship and the life of its designer and engineer, William Francis Gibbs.

Framed around the author's own experience steaming across the Atlantic on the very same SS United States, Crossing on Time is a tour de force of the art of explanation and a touching and surprising childhood story.

A 2020 NCTE Orbis Pictus Recommended Book
2020 Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Books of the Year List

About the Author

Born on December 2, 1946, David Macaulay was ten when his family moved from England to the United States. An early fascination with simple technology and a love of model making and drawing ultimately led him to study architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design. He received his degree in 1969 after spending his fifth year with RISD’s European Honors Program in Rome. The next four years were spent working in interior design, teaching junior and senior high school art and tinkering with the idea of making books. The tinkering paid off. His numerous awards include the MacArthur Fellowship, the Caldecott Medal, won for his book Black and White, the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, the Christopher Award, an American Institute of Architects Medal, the Washington Children’s Book Guild Nonfiction Award, the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis, the Dutch Silver Slate Pencil Award, and the Bradford Washburn Award, presented by the Museum of Science in Boston to an outstanding contributor to science. He was U.S.nominee for the biennial, international Hans Christian Andersen Award in both 1984 and 2002. Macaulay currently lives with his family in Vermont.

Praise For…

“A stunning celebration of ships like the S.S. United States.” —New York Times, Editors' Choice

“Macaulay details the design and construction of the vessel in his precise and often playful architectural drawings, luring in readers who might not otherwise be interested in physics and engineering.” —New York Times Book Review

“Macaulay's succinct, explanatory text propels the narrative, drawing readers into his meticulous, captioned artwork . . . Not to be missed.” —Booklist, starred review

“Macaulay’s beautifully detailed illustrations illuminate the blended text, and are so engaging that they will draw in readers otherwise reluctant about the content of the book itself . . . Perfect for collections in need of STEAM texts; a must-buy for any and all collections.” —School Library Journal, starred review

“Stunning . . . This title has potential to draw audiences from budding engineers to history buffs to fans of the golden age of glamorous sea travel, and they’ll all find new understanding of this high-profile episode in transportation history.” —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review

“Beyond the impressive scholarship and impeccable draftsmanship, Macaulay rounds out the reading experience with moments of humor, pleasingly atmospheric spreads, and a humanistic view of applied science.” —Horn Book, starred review

“A stunning book befitting its magnificent subject, Crossing on Time is a blue-ribbon read.” —Shelf Awareness

“Personal notes give this stirring tribute to speed, power, and technological prowess an unusually intimate air.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Macaulay continues to amaze with his architect-trained eye for detail and ability to make the complex understandable . . . A multilayered reading experience.” —Publishers Weekly

Praise for David Macaulay:

"There is a sense of wonder in David Macaulay's work. It's fresh and genuine." —The Washington Post

"Macaulay's elegant drawings, wry humor, and clear descriptions of the simplest and most complex structures and machines are . . . entertaining experiences for both children and adults." —MacArthur Fellows citation, 2006

Product Details
ISBN: 9781596434776
ISBN-10: 1596434775
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication Date: May 7th, 2019
Pages: 128
Language: English

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