Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

A is for Airplane: An Aviation Alphabet (Alphabet Books)

A is for Airplane: An Aviation Alphabet (Alphabet Books)

Mary Ann McCabe Riehle
Illustrator:  David Craig 
Nonfiction Picture Book  Series
For ages 6 to 10
Sleeping Bear Press, 2009   ISBN: 978-1585363582

In this day of high-speed airplanes, it is hard to imagine that there ever was a time when people did not have the option of traveling from place to place in an airplane. In fact, passenger travel in an airplane only became possible in 1914 when people could pay five dollars to travel from St. Petersburg to Tampa. Though the plane could only accommodate one passenger at a time, it was an important beginning.

In this excellent alphabet book, the author explores a wide variety of airplane related topics. On the B page she tells us how early inventors were inspired by the flight of birds, building machines to try to emulate them. On the E page, she tells us about Amelia Earhart, who was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, and whose sudden disappearance during a flight over the Pacific Ocean in 1937 has intrigued people for decades. For the letter P she talks about pilots and how they have to train for many hours before they are considered ready to fly a plane.

For each letter of the alphabet, the author explores an aviation related topic in rhyming verse and in a section of text. Illustrations provide a perfect backdrop for each topic. This format makes this book (and the other alphabet books in this series) accessible for readers of all ages. Young children enjoy the poems and art, and the text in the side bars contains information that will interest older readers.