Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Airplane Alphabet Book

The Airplane Alphabet Book

Jerry Pallotta, Fred Stillwell
Illustrator:  Rob Bolster 
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Charlesbridge Publishing, 1999   ISBN: 978-0881069068

Even people who are not interested in learning how to fly a plane feel a certain special something when they get on a plane or when they read about the history of early airplanes. Getting a machine into the air and keeping it there was a huge achievement, and since Orville and Wilbur Wright made their historic flight many kinds of planes have been invented and used for various purposes.

In this book readers will get to 'meet' some of the airplanes that humans have used to transport passengers, to fight wars, to explore distant regions of the world, to use in airshows, to beat flying records, and to fly for entertainment.

For every letter of the alphabet the authors introduce their readers to a different kind of airplane, and in many of the entries we learn what made these planes unique. The text also describes the problems that pilots and airplane designers have had to overcome. For example, flying at night used to be an extremely hazardous business until special instruments like the directional gyro were invented. A few entries also help readers to understand the science of flight, the ways in which planes are flown, and more.

What is amazing about this book is that the authors manage to provide their readers will so much information. Young airplane fans will be delighted to find so many facts in one place. Not only that, but the authors use humor in a clever way to add a little zest to their narrative.

With wonderful illustrations and an engaging and interesting text, this is an alphabet book that readers of all ages will enjoy.