Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Inside the Hindenburg: A Giant Cutaway Book

Inside the Hindenburg: A Giant Cutaway Book

Mireille Majoor
Illustrator:  Ken Marshall 
For ages 10 and up
Little Brown, 2000   ISBN: 978-0316123860

Very few people nowadays get to travel in an airship. There are a few of these balloon like air vessels which are used for advertising and scientists sometimes borrow these floating commercials to study wildlife because they are very quiet and can hover in one spot for long periods of time. But, for the most part airships are a thing of the past. The Hindenburg was the largest airship of its kind and for Nazi Germany in 1937 the enormous airship gave its masters a great opportunity to propagandise about Germany’s achievements.

In this outsized books the reader gets to take a journey in the Hindenburg, a journey which unfortunately ended in tragedy. We get to meet some of the people who made that fateful journey; there is Irene Doehner who is travelling to America with her parents and her two younger brothers; and there is Werner the cabin boy who is making his first trip to America. Through the eyes of these two young people we are able to see and imagine what the journey to America would have been like.

In this out-sized book fold out pages, detailed cut-away diagrams and illustrations, and period photographs bring the Hindenburg to life. We are able to explore its two passenger decks, its superstructure, and its engines. Lastly we are able to see in graphic detail what the ship looked like when it caught fire and began to fall out of the sky.