This good-humored introduction to air travel follows a multiracial family (black dad, white mom, two brown kids) through the airport, down the jetway, and onto their plane.
Each step receives cleareyed treatment. Vivid ink-and-watercolor illustrations capture the lines, bag checks, security screenings, surreal little village of restaurants and shops within the terminal, and finally the waiting alongside other travelers who stretch, bicker, bob to music, babble on the phone, sleep, and listen for their boarding group to be called. Explanatory narration in the second-person is filtered through the lens of the family’s older sibling. It eases readers through these experiences, reassuring them with clarity, candor, and repeated words, most often the word sometimes, which emerges as a comforting acknowledgement of expected variance. “Sometimes you get something to drink. Sometimes you get something to eat. / Sometimes there is a movie to watch. Sometimes there are people to talk to. / Sometimes the plane is bouncy, but most of the time it is smooth.” Readers drift along with the easygoing voice, much like a traveler gliding along a moving walkway. Brightly colored people and baggage fill double-page spreads, nudging readers to look closely at faces, stances, attitudes, and activities to spin narratives for the travelers. Strategically placed text, with modest typeface and subtle sizing, makes the story-building straightforward and the busy pictures navigable.
Instructional, comforting, and threaded with multiple air-travel story strands, this travelogue delivers at many altitudes. (Picture book. 2-6)