Machines - Thao Lam
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With a hundred plus vendors set up on more than 20 acres of land, the Aberfoyle Antique Market can overwhelm even the most experienced antique enthusiasts. A few weeks ago I spent the day wandering up and down the aisles of the open-air market, enjoying the blue sky above and the autumn sun. Every nook and cranny was crammed with unique items from the past. Eight hours was not enough!

Leaving no stone unturned I found a stack of Little Golden Books buried between old editions of National Geographics and Encyclopedia Britannicas – hooray!

The great thing about collecting books is you never have to worry about how to take them home at the end of day. The parking lot was full of people trying to figure out how to take their loot home; cramming, tying and duck-taping their found treasures to their car. Keep reading…

I am a big fan of the Little Golden Books Series. First, I love the art styles from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. Second, I love how they made books so affordable. For 50 cent you could own a beautifully illustrated book. Though the price tag was cheap the publishers didn’t skimp on the quality of the art and production of the book (a book that can survive decades at the hands of children is a testament of craftsmanship). Machines, written and illustrated by William Dugan, was printed in 1961. It does not have much of a storyline, but it is beautifully illustrated. As implied by its title the book, it introduces readers to a variety of machines, bulldozers, dump trucks, cranes as well as many more big and loud engines. Dugan illustrates how each machine is use and in what scenario. I like how the construction workers are depicted; big solid men with big happy grins. They obviously enjoy what they do! Safety was not a major concern as illustrated by Dugan; no one on the construction site is wearing a hard hat, and in some scenes cats and little boys roam the construction site. As a public service announcement, I would like to remind readers that yes, big loud machines are cool, but they can also be dangerous and should only be operated by a fully trained worker or at least by someone who can reach the gas peddle.

(Mr. Wishing Went Fishing, which was reviewed previously by B is for Books was also discovered at the Aberfoyle Antique Market)

Machines, a children’s book review by Thao Lam

Author and Illustrator William Dugan

I wasn’t able to find any information on William Dugan. If anyone out there has any info, please share.


Publisher A Little Golden Book; Western Publishing Company (1961)