Tuesday, November 19, 2013

30 Days of Picture Books - Planes Fly! by George Ella Lyon

We're at Day 12 in our 30 Days of Picture Books. Are you loving what we've read so far? I have to say that this is probably my favorite blogging project of the entire year. It's an excuse for us to crack out our TBR list and request some titles we've been eyeing, and to revisit some of our favorites from the past several months. The only problem is narrowing the list to just 30 titles!

Tonight's pick has been described by Sprout as "super awesome", and I have to concur (what can I say, the boy has good taste!). George Ella Lyon is a poet, and she brings a poet's sensibilities to her work. That unique perspective definitely comes through in her recent picture book Planes Fly! This is a lyrical celebration of all kinds of aircraft, perfectly captured in Lyon's simple yet powerful verse. You name the plane, she's covered it, including commercial aircraft, seaplanes, and even Air Force One. From the first lines ("Planes have engines. / Planes have wings / lifted by the air that sings."), it's clear that this is an author that's not only skillful in her craft but also knowledgeable about her subject. It's a combination that's enough to make young aviators swoon.

And while I'm mentioning swoon-worthiness, let's talk about these illustrations by Mick Wiggins. Tinged with a flavor from vintage advertisements, these pictures definitely make you feel as though you're just about to wing off to somewhere fabulous. Wiggins manages to convey the wonder of flight in a way that suits Lyon's text to a tee. I'm not exaggerating when I say that Sprout's jaw absolutely dropped when he saw the spread with an aerial firefighter spraying water over a forest aflame and smoking. And on a second look-through with Daddy, he delighted at all the small details he found, like the picnickers on a bluff and the tiny shadow of a jumbo jet soaring above the landscape.

Planes Fly!, and with this informative and imaginative title, your little ones can too!

Planes Fly! by George Ella Lyon, published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers

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