TOUCHING THE SKY

THE FLYING ADVENTURES OF WILBUR AND ORVILLE WRIGHT

Another unusual approach to the celebration of the Wright brothers’ achievement, this one focuses on their historic flights in 1909 in New York City and Germany. Written in free verse, the first half recounts how Wilbur performed spectacular flying demonstrations for New York City’s Hudson-Fulton Celebration: flying over New York Harbor, looping the Statue of Liberty, and traveling up the Hudson River past Grant’s Tomb. Though most New Yorkers had never seen a flying machine, everyone had heard of the Wright brothers, and they were thrilled. Meanwhile, Orville was setting new records in Germany, flying the highest ever and making the longest flight with a passenger (the Crown Prince). Watercolor illustrations add dimension to this unique recognition of two American heroes. An epilogue, maps of Manhattan and Europe, and an aviation time line complete the research. While the format looks like an early reader, the length and language make this more appropriate for middle readers. (Nonfiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-689-84876-5

Page Count: 64

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2003

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DORY STORY

Who is next in the ocean food chain? Pallotta has a surprising answer in this picture book glimpse of one curious boy. Danny, fascinated by plankton, takes his dory and rows out into the ocean, where he sees shrimp eating those plankton, fish sand eels eating shrimp, mackerel eating fish sand eels, bluefish chasing mackerel, tuna after bluefish, and killer whales after tuna. When an enormous humpbacked whale arrives on the scene, Danny’s dory tips over and he has to swim for a large rock or become—he worries’someone’s lunch. Surreal acrylic illustrations in vivid blues and red extend the story of a small boy, a small boat, and a vast ocean, in which the laws of the food chain are paramount. That the boy has been bathtub-bound during this entire imaginative foray doesn’t diminish the suspense, and the facts Pallotta presents are solidly researched. A charming fish tale about the one—the boy—that got away. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-88106-075-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2000

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THE PUMPKIN BOOK

The Pumpkin Book (32 pp.; $16.95; Sept. 15; 0-8234-1465-5): From seed to vine and blossom to table, Gibbons traces the growth cycle of everyone’s favorite autumn symbol—the pumpkin. Meticulous drawings detail the transformation of tiny seeds to the colorful gourds that appear at roadside stands and stores in the fall. Directions for planting a pumpkin patch, carving a jack-o’-lantern, and drying the seeds give young gardeners the instructions they need to grow and enjoy their own golden globes. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 1999

ISBN: 0-8234-1465-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1999

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