WILBUR WRIGHT MEETS LADY LIBERTY
Written by Robert Burleigh; Illustrated by Wendell Minor
Henry Holt & Co.
March 9, 2021
Burleigh and Minor recount the first public flying exhibition of Wilbur and Orville Wright’s airplane, during a 1909 technology showcase in New York City. Realistic gouache watercolors offer varying perspectives that give scale to both statue and plane. Bookending the story is a second one about a boy who was inspired on that day; intermittent spreads depict sepia-toned portraits of Juan Trippewho would later found Pan American Airways.
From KIRKUS REVIEWS
Children read/hear the voices of Juan and his parents (set in italicized type), making their presence immediate. This punctuates the dramatic third-person narration, expressed in a terse present tense that adds suspense. Minor’s splendid illustrations offer numerous grand perspectives and are rendered in lush watercolors, providing appropriate airiness and lending nostalgia; the scenes depicting Juan and his parents are sepia toned. This high-flying book will send readers’ imaginations soaring.
From BULLETIN of the CENTER for CHILDREN’S BOOKS
Skeptics turned into believers on September 29, 1909, when Wilbur Wright glided into the air over New York Harbor, circled around the Statue of Liberty, and made a perfect landing to the gasps of appreciation of thousands of onlookers. Burleigh offers a short account of a short flight but maximizes the tension and triumph by drawing out the details, from Wright’s to the tricky maneuvering around Lady Liberty. Minor’s watercolors situate viewers on the ground, sharing the view, and in the pilot’s seat, sharing the challenge.
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