Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Let's Take an Airplane

Kids love airplanes.  They ask me for books about airplanes at the library, my daughters rearrange the dining room furniture to play "airplane," they make them out of paper, they roar and sputter and fly around like big planes.  An airplane program is a great addition to a transportation theme or a sure-thing winner for your library, class room, or kids at home.

I love Brian Biggs', Everything Goes: In the Air for early Elementary age children.  The pictures are awesome and there's the right amount of text for their attention-span.  For younger kids, the book is skimmable or try Biggs' newer board book, Everything Goes: What Flies in the Air. 

I am really happy to share my new airplane book with young audiences, too.  I wanted more of a story about a trip through the airport and on an airplane rather than just a book about the machines and their vocabulary, thus, Let's Take an Airplane, A Hazel and Tilly Adventure.  Knowing that the details of airplane travel can change from day-to-day let alone month or year-to-year, my goal was to create a story that would capture the perennials of the airport (lines and candy) and airplane (clouds all around and sliding bathroom doors).  I think that the characters, Hazel and her sister Tilly, really capture all of the different feelings about airplane travel that a child or adult can experience, from anxious to thrilled.  Check out the glossary in the back for technical children who get excited about words like "wing walker."

The possibilities at a dramatic play station are endless!  With chairs, a few little suitcases and backpacks, boarding passes, magazines, a drink tray, and a globe or maps, young children can imagine themselves anywhere from the airport to airplane to runway to explorers charting their course.

If you're hosting older elementary age children: paper airplanes or the edgier straw and paper planes are an affordable craft, as are imagination-stretchers like "Design Your Dream Plane" or "Design A Fantasy Airport."  Tie it all into 2014's Summer Reading science theme with an experiment in flight (You can find lots of ideas on Pinterest)!

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