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Aeronautics: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about aeronautics?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to aeronautics. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about aeronautics.

Our list includes picture books and chapter books. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

When it comes to children’s stories about aeronautics, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Take Me Out to the Airfield!: How the Wright Brothers Invented the Airplane to popular sellers like Violet the Pilot.

We hope this list of kids books about aeronautics can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

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Violet the Pilot
Written & illustrated by Steve Breen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Violet is a science-loving girl inventor with a flair for the air! Fans of Ada Twist, Scientist and Rosie Revere, Engineer will love this classic underdog story by two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Steve Breen.

By the time she’s two years old, Violet Van Winkle can engineer nearly any appliance in the house. And by eight she’s building elaborate flying machines from scratch—mind-boggling contraptions such as the Tubbubbler, the Bicycopter, and the Wing-a-ma-jig. The kids at school tease her, but they have no idea what she’s capable of. Maybe she could earn their respect by winning the blue ribbon in the upcoming Air Show. Or maybe something even better will happen—something involving her best-ever invention, a Boy Scout troop in peril, and even the mayor himself!

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Wilbur Wright Meets Lady Liberty
Written by Robert Burleigh & illustrated by Wendell Minor
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

In Robert Burleigh's nonfiction picture book Wilbur Wright Meets Lady Liberty, illustrated by Wendell Minor, two American icons meet during Wilbur Wright's dramatic flight circling the Statue of Liberty.

On September 29th, 1909, Wilbur Wright performed his first public flight for a crowd of disbelievers in the New York Harbor, home to the Statue of Liberty. With courage and caution, he put his airplane to the test and flew around the iconic landmark while the crowd observed, breathless.

This minute-by-minute account of Wright's voyage over New York City captures the weight and the wonder of human achievement. When Wilbur Wright met Lady Liberty, he propelled his dream into the imaginations of many, securing the future of aviation.

Christy Ottaviano Books

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Wood, Wire, Wings: Emma Lilian Todd Invents an Airplane
Written by Kirsten W. Larson & illustrated by Tracy Subisak
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10
This riveting nonfiction picture book biography explores both the failures and successes of self-taught engineer Emma Lilian Todd as she tackles one of the greatest challenges of the early 1900s: designing an airplane.
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Take Me Out to the Airfield!: How the Wright Brothers Invented the Airplane
Written & illustrated by Robert Quackenbush
chapter book
Recommend Ages: -

A picture-book biography of the Wright brothers who made the first successful motor-powered flight in the history of mankind.

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The Fabulous Flying Machines of Alberto Santos-Dumont
Written by Victoria Griffith & illustrated by Eva Montanari
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Profiles Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont, who made great strides in the invention of flight.

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  • A Dream of Flight - Years before the invention of the modern airplane, Alberto Santos-Dumont dreamed of flying. As a boy, he was mesmerized by the machinery on his father’s coffee plantation in Brazil and went on to study science and engineering in France. Soon his groundbreaking—and sometimes silly—inventions became the talk of Paris, especially after he set his sights on building an airship that could bring the world’s people together. His small stature and big ideas earned him the nickname “Le Petite Santos.” This is the story of Santos’s successful race for the Deutsche Prize, and his many failures along the way. Chock-full of cool diagrams, charming Parisian scenes, and graphic novel-style spot illustrations, A Dream of Flight will have young readers looking to the sky and scheming up their own aerial inventions.

  • The Wright Brothers: Nose-Diving into History - A hilarious nonfiction look at two of history’s most epic “failures”: the Wright brothers, whose countless crashes and biggest failures led to ultimate success. Although the Wright Brothers are now celebrated as heroes for their groundbreaking contributions to science and engineering as the first men to successfully manage powered, piloted flight, their eventual success was built on the back of a lot of nosedives. It took the self-taught engineers years of work and countless crashes before they managed to remain airborne for a mere twelve seconds! In this hilarious first installment of the Epic Fails series, Ben Thompson and Erik Slader take readers through the the Wright Brothers’ many failed attempts at flight before achieving their groundbreaking success, laying the foundation for aviation as we know it today.

  • Science Comics: Flying Machines - Take to the skies with Flying Machines! Follow the famous aviators from their bicycle shop in Dayton, Ohio, to the fields of North Carolina where they were to make their famous flights. In an era of dirigibles and hot air balloons, the Wright Brothers were among the first innovators of heavier than air flight. But in the hotly competitive international race toward flight, Orville and Wilbur were up against a lot more than bad weather. Mechanical failures, lack of information, and even other aviators complicated the Wright Brothers’ journey. Though they weren’t as wealthy as their European counterparts, their impressive achievements demanded attention on the international stage. Thanks to their carefully recorded experiments and a healthy dash of bravery, the Wright Brothers’ flying machines took off.

  • Friendly Fliers - A diverse range of pilot characters introduce the vehicles that they fly. Children will discover an assortment of vehicles, including a jumbo jet, seaplane, glider, helicopter, and space plane. As children are asked if they know what each vehicle does, the answer is revealed on the next page. About the Finn’s Fun Trucks series: Written by 11-year-old truck enthusiast Finn Coyle, the Finn’s Fun Trucks series provides a vocabulary-rich introduction to transportation for truck-loving children with the help of a diverse range of vehicle operators and community helpers.

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