Kirkus Reviews QR Code
JOE-JOE’S FIRST FLIGHT by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley


by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley & illustrated by E.B. Lewis

Pub Date: June 10th, 2003
ISBN: 0-375-81053-6
Publisher: Knopf

Beautiful watercolor illustrations highlight a touching account of African-American airport workers’ aspirations. The chatty first-person narrative is from Joe-Joe’s point of view—his father works at the airport. Joe-Joe, his father, and the other men hope for a chance to fly, but “the man” says, “In due time,” and that time never seems to come. The story takes off when Joe-Joe falls asleep in a cockpit and dreams that he flies up to capture the moon and bring back hope to Blind Eye. His joyful expression as he approaches an enormous, bright moon provides a striking contrast to the resigned, dusty look of the scenes on the ground. Realistically, Joe-Joe can’t do anything to further the men’s ambitions, but current readers with the perspective of history will know that Joe-Joe himself may be able to fly by the time he grows up. An author’s note discusses African-Americans in aviation. (Picture book. 5-8)