Thursday, April 16, 2015

Bookmarks: Picture Books on Flight

One hundred and forty-eight years ago, on April 16, 1867, a baby boy was born who would make his mark history. Wilbur Wright, along with his brother Orville, invented the first successful airplane and realized man's dream of flying. The beginning of air travel includes amazing stories of creativity and courage. 

While there are many books that tell the stories of these events, I searched for some of the best illustrated picture books at our library. These books were designed for elementary students (grades 2-5) but I enjoyed them as much as my children.

Wilbur and Orville Wright had a younger sister, and this book tells the story of the famous inventors from her perspective. While she may never be as famous as her brothers, this story gives credit to the quiet woman who supported her brothers. Superb illustrations add realism to the story.

Will and Orv by Walter A. Schulz

The Wright's first successful flight told through the eyes of a young boy from Kitty Hawk who witnessed the event. Based on the historic record of the December 1903 event.

The muted paintings by the Provensens fit perfectly with the story of French aviation pioneer Louis Bleriot. After many failures, Bleriot succeeded in being the first person to fly across the English Channel. This is a story of someone who is determined and learned from his mistakes.

Flight by Robert Burleigh

Lindbergh's historic flight across the Atlantic is told in short sentences that show the drama of the event. But the real thrill of this book is the stunning illustrations.

Night Flight by Robert Burleigh

A new retelling of Amelia Earhart's solo flight across the Atlanic is told with vivid words and paintings. The many dangers and problems Earhart encounters lend suspense to the story.

The Hindenburg by Patrick O'Brien

The lovely airships (also known as zeppelins) were actually invented before the airplanes and at one time were considered the best way to travel across the ocean. That all ended in 1937 with the tragic explosion of the Hindenburg, the largest and fastest airship ever made. The history of the airships, detailed drawings, and lovely artwork are included with this story of Hugo Eckener and his amazing airship.

I doubt the Wright brothers ever imagined that their innovations in flight would one day enable man to travel as far as the moon. This excellent book tells the story of the historic journey of Apollo 11. The poetic text combines with amazing watercolors to replay the incredible event. Don't miss this one.


  1. Thanks for the book ideas! I will have to look for these.

  2. What a great idea for a book topic! I am hard pushed to think of any books to add to your list, but a vintage copy of "the story of flight" by Ladybird books could be interesting as it is on a timeline basis ( I think it begins with Icarus!) - but it ends in the 1960s.

  3. Our children love the story of the Wright Brothers. I highly recommend visiting the memorial for the first flight, located in Nag's Head, NC. It is fascinating for all ages and the replica of the airplane is amazing!


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