Jerry Pallotta, author
Jerry Pallotta is an award-winning author of children's alphabet books and imaginative fiction. He has written many books for Charlesbridge, including The Icky Bug Alphabet Book, Dory Story, and The U.S. Navy Alphabet Book. Jerry's books appeal to children of all ages because of the beautiful illustrations, witty text, and accurate descriptions found in all his work. Jerry lives in Massachusetts with his family. "Alphabet books constructed around a theme helpfully provide an extra clue for deciphering the word in question. Jerry Pallotta is the king of this subgenre..."
—The Horn Book
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Fred Stillwell, author
Fred Stillwell is an avid "pilot" of remote-controlled airplanes, often flying them with his grandchildren. He grew up in Georgia near a golf course where mail planes landed when they were out of gas or had motor trouble. The pilots would often give Fred fifteen cents to fetch a gallon of gas. His experiences helping the pilots led to a life-long fascination with aviation.
Fred hopes that The Airplane Alphabet Book book will give children insight into the history of airplanes and a better understanding of a technology that they might have taken for granted.
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Rob Bolster, illustrator
A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, Bolster has worked in illustration for more than 20 years. For most of that time, his work has appeared in newspaper and magazine advertisements for major corporations. He produced most of those illustrations using airbrush and watercolor. However, in recent years Bolster has taught himself how to do his work using a computer. Much of his illustration is now created digitally. His books include The Airplane Alphabet Book, The Jet Alphabet Book, Going Lobstering and more.
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School Library Journal
Brightly colored pictures of mostly vintage airplanes will attract young aviation enthusiasts. The realistic illustrations are of excellent quality with meticulous detail and a wide variety of backdrops. A paragraph of text describes the plane featured on each page.
From the AT-6 to Zero (the nickname of a Mitsubishi A6M fighter plane), the featured planes illustrate variations and developments in aeronautical design. Realistic illustrations and informative, informal text take readers on a whirlwind tour of flying machines.
School Library Journal
"Many clever people attempted to fly in various contraptions over the years.... Finally, on December 17, 1903, in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Wilbur and Orville Wright flew the first 'airplane.'" Twenty-six pages later, with G for the Gooney Bird, a DC-3; V for the red Vega, Amelia Earhart's aircraft; and W for the Wright Flyer, readers have been given interesting bits of information about a variety of aircraft. The exceptional, colorful illustrations are so real that they look like photographs.
An ABC book powered by aircraft, B is for B-17, H for Hercules Flying Boat, J for barnstorming, loop-the-looping Jenny, M for the dogfighting Messerschmitt, R for Lindbergh's Ryan, the Spirit of St. Louis. Each airplane is given a solid little history that evokes the personality of the craft (while the fighting planes featured might raise hard questions about wars and why they're fought). Pallotta and Stillwell cover the gamut, from Orville and Wilbur Wright's planes, planes that land on water and those that take off vertically, experimental jets, and ultralights. They also explain various technical terms: hangar, fuselage, cockpit, control tower, etc. Bolster's accompanying artwork is paintbox bright, suffusing the planes with character and purpose.
Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews,
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 fly 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.
Page count: 32