A young airplane goes on his first flight, gets into some trouble and learns it’s always best to obey his parents.
Arnold A. Airplane is a young biplane (his mother is also a biplane, but his father is a jet) who decides to go for his first solo flight rather than play with his friends. His mother reminds him to follow her rules—no rolls, flips or other dangerous stunts—and to remember all the things he’s been told as he flies. He promises to be good, but once up in the air, he remembers the rules yet decides to forget them since his parents aren’t around; he practices loops and barrel rolls until he makes himself sick, becoming so dizzy he nearly crashes. Then he remembers his father’s advice to be calm in the face of danger. Once he calms down, he’s able to fly again, but just when he thinks he’s out of danger, he realizes there’s nowhere to land. Losing hope, he discovers that he’s had more help than he thought the whole time. The author’s endearing rhyming prose will be easy for young readers to understand, though it’s complex enough for adults to enjoy reading with the kids. The enjoyable illustrations are simple line drawings in bright colors, with a few photographs featuring a model-type Arnold, whose facial expressions are always lively. The story, meanwhile, has an emphasis on listening to elders, learning from parents and trusting in the love of family. Arnold isn’t in danger long enough to worry younger readers, but his journey has enough action for kids to be excited to find out what happens next.
Young readers will love the cute rhymes and illustrations, and parents will appreciate the tender message.