Kirkus Reviews QR Code
STEEL TOWN by Jonah Winter Kirkus Star


by Jonah Winter & illustrated by Terry Widener

Pub Date: May 20th, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-4169-4081-4
Publisher: Atheneum

Evocative illustrations pulse with energy and poetic prose describes the nation’s industrial past in loving detail. Although it may resemble other cities, “Steel Town” will be instantly recognized as Pittsburgh, Pa., though this by no means limits its appeal. From the mills belching smoke to the Hot Metal Bridge across which the molten iron travels, from the ornate churches to the humble homes of the workers, Winter captures the essence of the city. Recalling the WPA muralists, Widener’s stylized acrylics emphasize hulking machinery, bleak landscapes and gloomy darkness while capturing the look of Depression-era fashions and décor. Touches of light—the reflected gleam of the furnace, the flowing gold of the hot metal—appear in almost every illustration, providing a welcome contrast. This amalgam of history, industry and imagination proudly stands as both a beautiful and intriguing glimpse into a long-gone past and a paean to the hard work required to create the “big beams used to make buildings...big sheets used to make cars...” (Picture book. 5-9)