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SKYWRITING by J. Patrick Lewis


Poems to Fly

by J. Patrick Lewis, illustrated by Laszlo Kubinyi

Age Range: 10 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-56846-203-5
Publisher: Creative Company

Thirteen buoyant poems highlight famous and infamous attempts to fly, starting with Icarus's misguided efforts to rise "on wings of wax" in 800 BCE and ending in 2002 with that "behemoth of adventure" and "front-row ticket to celestial theater in the round," Space Shuttle Columbia. Lighthearted, imagery-packed verses pay tribute to the Montgolfiers' first hot-air balloon rising "[m]errily aerially," above Paris, the Wright brothers' "legendary trail" over Kitty Hawk, the Graf Zeppelin circumnavigating the globe "[b]eyond the minor turbulence of dreams," the sleek Concorde "flying twice the speed of sound" (a concrete poem) and the Lockheed Nighthawk, a "radar evader" and "metal Darth Vader." Lewis humorously intersperses more imaginative, but doomed, approaches, including the equestrian balloon, the whimsical flying ship, the bird-winged Ornithopter, the oval Multiplane, the short-lived Airgeep and the jet-powered rocket-belt. Kubinyi's realistic, detailed pen, ink and watercolor illustrations celebrate the highs and lows of these celestial flights of fancy and reality. A lively, lyrical introduction to some of aviation's more memorable milestones. (endnotes & timeline) (Poetry. 10 & up)