Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Wee and the Wright Brothers

Wee and the Wright Brothers

Timothy R. Gaffney
Illustrator:  Bernadette Pons 
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 6
Henry Holt, 2004   ISBN: 0805071725

Wee is a journalist mouse who writes for a newspaper and prints it in his home. He lives with his wife and children in a bicycle shop in Dayton Ohio. It is an exciting time, for the two men who own the bicycle shop, Orville and Wilbur Wright, are building and always improving on a man-powered flying machine. Wee is fascinated by the machines and when the brothers build their most impressive machine ever, the Flyer, Wee decides to go with them to North Carolina to try the machine out.

So Wee goes on a remarkable journey, first on a train (which he enjoys) and then on a boat (which he does not). He and the brothers arrive at the village of Kitty Hawk on a little island off the coast of North Carolina and they get to work.  In addition to building their flying machine Orville and Wilbur try to get rid of the little “beastie” who has taken up residence in their cabin but Wee is too clever for them and he remains on the loose, able to watch all that is going on about him.

Then on December 17th 1903, Wee finds himself going on the most extraordinary trip of his life.

Through the eyes of a little mouse we learn a great deal about the Wright brothers and their famous first flight. With true journalistic zeal Wee seeks out his story and he finds it. Perhaps the best part of the story is finding out at the end of the book that the Wright brothers really did have a little mouse sharing their cabin at Kitty Hawk. It was a mouse - “that wee beastie” - which refused to get caught and that could have, just perhaps, longed to fly.