Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

T is for Titanic: A Titanic Alphabet

T is for Titanic: A Titanic Alphabet

Michael Shoulders, Debbie Shoulders
Illustrator:  Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen 
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 6 to 10
Sleeping Bear Press, 2011   ISBN: 978-1585361762

The story of how the RMS Titanic sank on her maiden voyage in 1912 has fascinated people of all ages ever since the ship went down. Movies and documentaries have been made, songs have been sung, and countless books have been written about the Titanic and her tragic end. When the Titanic’s remains were discovered by Robert Ballard in 1985, people all over the world watched and waited for the first images of the ship to be released so that they see the great ship lying on the bottom of the Atlantic.

One hundred years after the sinking of the great ship, Sleeping Bear Press brings readers an alphabet book that explores the story of the RMS Titanic in a new way. For every letter of the alphabet, the authors provide their readers with information about a Titanic related topic. Each entry includes artwork, a short poem, and a sidebar of text.

For example, for the letter I, we learn about the iceberg that ended the Titanic’s first journey so suddenly. Even though the Titanic did receive radio warnings that there were icebergs in the area, the ship was going to fast to react quickly when the lookout in the crow’s nest sent the bridge the warning “Icebeg right ahead!”

For the letter V, we read about the violinist who “began to play / cheerful tunes like ragtime / to keep passenger’s fears at bay.” The violinist and other musicians played until the tilt of the ship became so extreme that they had to stop. All of them “perished with the ship.”

It is hard not to be both fascinated and moved by the stories and information that is included in this book. Readers will meet some of the people who are part of the Titanic’s story, and they will learn what happened before, during, and after that terrible night in April, 1912.

This is one in a series of alphabet books published by Sleeping Bear Press. Other topics explored in the books includes cats, inventions, quilts, books, and poetry.