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When a young boy follows the instructions to build a replica of the first airplane to fly around the world, he sets out on an unexpected and remarkable adventure of flight
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A beautiful but over-designed bookit has a small, thin typeface that is difficult to readabout a boy and his model planes. As soon as he finishes building one, he starts saving for the next one. And the next one is the Winnie Mae, flown around the world by the intrepid Wiley Post with his eye patch (Post died just recently). The boy is amazed by the instructions (some of which appear on the endpapers), for example, ``cut swiftly and decisively but with compassion.'' When the Winnie Mae is finished, and he takes it to his favorite tree, he can imagine flying it, and so he does. The boy views his world from above, and marvels at the magic. The story unfolds gracefully to this point, but becomes awkward; when the boy goes to show his plane to some old fishermen, he is stopped by older boys who tear the Winnie Mae to pieces. The boy rejects the explanation that the model plane was only a key to unlocking his imagination, and isn't helped by his parents, who are too concerned with ``work and following rules.'' In a forced resolution, the magic of flying is restored to the boy, who sees the goodness of his parents and the fishermen. Splendid illustrations, reminiscent of the work of Chris Van Allsburg, range in size from tiny vignettes to full-page spreads, all in a rich and vivid style. In his first picture book, Lewis uses close-ups, panoramas, edgy angles, and light and dark to grand effect. The book may captivate older boys with dreams of flying, if they can be book-talked past the picture-book format. (Picture book. 8-11) -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From School Library Journal:
Grade 3-6-A picture book without an audience. A boy spends his time building model airplanes. At the hobby shop, he sees a kit for the Winnie Mae, the plane that Wiley Post flew solo around the world. Although the model is expensive, odd jobs seem to fall into his lap and he is soon able to buy it. The directions are rather strange: "The wings had to be built after dinner on a night with a new moon" and "the wheels had to be attached at dawn." Once the plane is assembled, the boy takes it outdoors. As he's lying under a tree, he suddenly finds himself inside the Winnie Mae, flying over his favorite places. Imagination and believing is all it takes, apparently, to take a magical journey. However, this story is no match for Chris Van Allsburg's The Polar Express (Houghton, 1985). Are grade-schoolers really interested in hearing that "Direction is determined by grace and will working in concert," and can they really understand that concept? The book has a lengthy text and the small, faded, gray typeface takes too much concentration to decipher. The illustrations, although well executed, are too dark, cramped, and controlled to complement a story about the power of dreaming. The language is too frothy and metaphorical to balance the ethereal theme. Grown-ups with a yen to believe in magic again may find this book appealing, but kids will not seek it out.
Peg Solonika, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Harcourt Childrens Books, 1998. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0152019545
Book Description Harcourt Childrens Books (J), 1998. Library Binding. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0152019545