GOOD-BYE, CHARLES LINDBERGH

If little stories combine to make up history, then this small tale contributes to the legacy of Charles Lindbergh. Borden (The Little Ships, 1997, etc.) captures the memories of Harold Gilpin (now 80 years old), who, as a child, met the famed aviator. Lindbergh had landed his plane in a Mississippi farmer's field to avoid fans; Harold (Gil Wickstrom in this version) stumbled upon the plane while out riding. The neighbors offered to put Lindbergh up, but he preferred to spend the night in his tent, hoping to avoid publicity. The next morning, Gil and his sister took breakfast to Lindbergh. The lyric style and muted pastel drawings heighten the book's nostalgic mood, for it is far more atmosphere than story; as in the tales that grandparents pass on to their loved ones, this one has the tenor of a personal remembrance that also brings history to life. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: April 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-689-81536-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1998

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THE SEALS ON THE BUS

With a tiger at the wheel, the big purple bus rolls all over town, picking up a menagerie of passengers from sheep (“BAAAH, BAAAH, BAAAH”) to vipers—get it? — (“HISS, HISS, HISS”) to skunks (“SSSS, SSSS, SSSS”) before disgorging its dismayed human riders (“HELP! HELP! HELP!”) at an outdoor party. Though wild creatures waddle, tramp, or slither aboard by troops there's always room for more in Karas’s (Raising Sweetness, 1999, etc.) gleeful paint-and-paper collage scenes. The scene on the bus is bound to provoke a great reaction and reading (or honking) along is inevitable. It's a frolicsome spin on the familiar play rhyme, and a surefire alternative or follow-up to Maryann Kovalski's Wheels on the Bus (1987) or Paul Zelinsky's classic popup version (1990). Hop onboard. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: April 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-8050-5952-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2000

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VIOLET THE PILOT

Violet Van Winkle is an inventor with a flair for air. Her father manages a junkyard and while other girls play with dolls and tea sets, Violet is busy tinkering with monkey wrenches and needle-nosed pliers building elaborate contraptions, especially flying machines, like her Bicycopter, Pogo Plane and Wing-a-ma-jig. Kids at school make fun of her, but Violet hopes that if she wins an air-show competition with her special plane, The Hornet, they’ll be nice to her. On show day, she carefully calculates her flying time but diverts from her course to rescue a troop of Boy Scouts who have fallen into a river and drops them (literally) at the hospital. Sadly, her heroism makes her too late to enter the air show but her misery evaporates when the mayor presents her with a medal of valor. The comical cover is a grabber: Violet is piloting a homemade plane wearing a helmet and goggles and blowing bubble gum with Orville, her dog’s ears streaming in the wind like her scarf. The cartoon illustrations of watercolor, acrylic and pencil soar with inventive details and angles, e.g. close-up of Violet’s face in midair with bugs on her teeth. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-8037-3125-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2008

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