An Electric Pioneer and his Magnificent Battery Cars
by Viv Walker
The storytelling in this picture book is completely in tune with the artwork, as it’s done by the same person. It is clear from the start that there is a personal connection here as Viv Walker knows her subject matter well.
And it’s not often that we see a child’s picture book embracing history as this one does.
The storytelling is in line with the era as depicted in a few old fashioned expressions i.e. a bolt of fancy cloth, or omnibuses.
But I was completely unaware of this remarkable historic fact that electric battery powered cars were first introduced to NZ as long ago as 1918.
The first petrol engine cars were the two imported from France earlier in 1898. And you can almost smell the petrol fumes of the exciting new horseless carriages within these pages.
So twenty years later the newest on the block are the cars, trucks and buses, all electric and running on batteries. Compared to the noise of the petrol driven vehicles, they were quiet, thanks to Thomas Edison and his cell batteries.
They were welcomed as electric battery cars and the future of our transport. No roar, no clatter and no fumes.
Reading this book with the historic information interspersed throughout has been an eye opener for me, and I was happily surprised to find the after information and photographs gleaned from historic references.
Yet by the time I finished reading this interesting story, and appreciated the detailed artwork, I was still unsure as to what the targeted readership would be. I have a grandson who is 8 years old, but somehow I don’t think this book suitable for him, even though he’s an avid reader.
Author: Viv Walker
Publisher: Swirld Books
Available: Soft cover with flaps, 36 pp, via distributor Nationwide Books