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Aviation: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about aviation?

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

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. 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, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.

When it comes to children’s stories about aviation, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like I Am Amelia Earhart to popular sellers like Rosie Revere, Engineer to some of our favorite hidden gems like Violet the Pilot.

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

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Top 10 Books About Aviation

#1
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Rosie Revere, Engineer
Written by Andrea Beaty & illustrated by David Roberts
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Rosie may seem quiet during the day, but at night she’s a brilliant inventor of gizmos and gadgets who dreams of becoming a great engineer. When her great-great-aunt Rose (Rosie the Riveter) comes for a visit and mentions her one unfinished goal—to fly—Rosie sets to work building a contraption to make her aunt’s dream come true. But when her contraption doesn’t fly but rather hovers for a moment and then crashes, Rosie deems the invention a failure. On the contrary, Aunt Rose insists that Rosie’s contraption was a raging success: you can only truly fail, she explains, if you quit. From the powerhouse author-illustrator team of Iggy Peck, Architect comes Rosie Revere, Engineer, another charming, witty picture book about believing in yourself and pursuing your passion. Ada Twist, Scientist, the companion picture book featuring the next kid from Iggy Peck’s class, is available in September 2016.

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#2
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Amelia Earhart
Written by Isabel Sanchez Vegara & illustrated by Mariadiamantes
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Meet Amelia, the fearless female flier! Now available as a board book in the Little People, Big Dreams series, this inspiring and informative little biography follows the life of Amelia Earhart, from her childhood as a tomboy to becoming the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean to her eventual disappearance. With stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, this empowering series celebrates the important life stories of wonderful women of the world. From designers and artists to scientists, all of them went on to achieve incredible things, yet all of them began life as a little child with a dream. These books make the lives of these role models accessible for children, providing a powerful message to inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world!

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#3
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Flight for Freedom: The Wetzel Family’s Daring Escape from East Germany
Written by Kristen Fulton & illustrated by Torben Kuhlmann
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

An Inspiring True Story about One Family’s Escape from Behind the Berlin Wall!

Peter was born on the east side of Germany, the side that wasn’t free. He watches news programs rather than cartoons, and wears scratchy uniforms instead of blue jeans. His family endures long lines and early curfews. But Peter knows it won’t always be this way. Peter and his family have a secret. Late at night in their attic, they are piecing together a hot air balloon—and a plan. Can Peter and his family fly their way to freedom? This is the true story of one child, Peter Wetzel, and his family, as they risk their lives for the hope of freedom in a daring escape from East Germany via a handmade hot air balloon in 1979.

• A perfect picture book for educators teaching about the Cold War, the Iron Curtain, and East Germany
Flight for Freedom is a showcase for lessons of bravery, heroism, family, and perseverance, as well as stunning history.
• Includes detailed maps of the Wetzel family’s escape route and diagrams of their hot air balloon

For fans of historical nonfiction picture books like Let the Children March, The Wall, Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain, Armstrong: The Adventurous Journey of a Mouse to the Moon.

• True life escape stories
• For picture book readers age 5–9
• For teachers, librarians, and historians

Kristen Fulton is a children’s book author. She can always be found with a notebook in hand as she ventures through historical sites and museums. Most of the time she lives in Florida—but she can also be found traveling the country by RV.

Torben Kuhlmann is an award-winning children’s book author and illustrator. Starting in kindergarten he became known as “the draftsman.” Flying machines and rich historical detail often adorn his work. He lives in Hamburg, Germany.

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#4
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Maisy Goes On a Plane: : A Maisy First Experiences Book
Written & illustrated by Lucy Cousins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

What’s it like to travel by plane for the first time? Little flyers are in good company with Maisy leading the way.

Maisy is going to visit her friend Ella, and she is taking a plane to get there. She’s very excited! Join the mouse as she checks in at the airport, finds her seat (by the window!) and makes some new friends on her flight. From the whoosh at takeoff to waiting in line for the bathroom, from buckling seat belts to arriving in a whole new wonderful place, flying is more fun with a friend like Maisy on board.

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#5
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The Dreamer
Written & illustrated by Il Sung Na
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Once, there was a pig who admired birds. But he could never join them. Or could he? Thus begins the journey of a pig with big dreams, and the perseverance to make them come true. He develops flight plans, builds experimental contraptions, and has far-flung adventures, but at the end of the day, his favorite thing to do is still to sit and watch for those he loves best: the birds. Il Sung Na creates a world at once whimsical and aspirational, where anything is possible and, yes, even pigs can learn to fly.

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#6
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Heal the Earth
Written by Julian Lennon and Bart Davis & illustrated by Smiljana Coh
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Take a journey to help the Earth in the second book of the New York Times bestselling trilogy by Julian Lennon! Jump aboard the White Feather Flier, a magical plane that can go wherever you want. This time, Lennon’s interactive book immerses children in a fun and unique journey where they can: Bring medicine to people in need! Dive below the ocean to bleached coral reefs! Visit the city to cultivate green spaces! Help the rain forest return and give its animals a home! Explore the planet, meet new people, and help make the world a better place! The Flier’s mission is to transport readers around the world, to engage them in helping to save the environment, and to teach one and all to love our planet. Just press a button printed on the page, and point the plane up in the air to fly, or down to land it! An inspiring, lyrical story, rooted in Lennon’s life and work, Heal the Earth is filled with beautiful illustrations that bring the faraway world closer to young children. The book includes words to a new, special poem written by Julian Lennon, specifically for Heal the Earth. A portion of the proceeds from book sales will go to support the environmental and humanitarian efforts of the White Feather Foundation, the global environmental and humanitarian organization that Lennon founded to promote education, health, conservation, and the protection of indigenous culture.

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#7
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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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#8
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Elecopter
Written & illustrated by Michael Slack
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

A chant-along companion to Monkey Truck features a heroic, fire-fighting elephant who bravely patrols the skies above the Savannah with her fire-hose nose, putting out fires and rescuing her fellow animals.

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#9
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Pop-Up Things That Go!
Written & illustrated by Ingela P. Arrhenius
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

The illustrator of the oversize hit Animals offers a pair of eye-catching miniature pop-up books sure to make waves and transport imaginations. Modes of transportation are exciting and ever popular – and here they get an attractive makeover in a kid-friendly pop-up with pages of things that go, from ice-cream trucks to helicopters, fire engines to tricycles. Bright colors and clean graphics set this attractive little book zooming ahead of the pack.

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#10
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Little Smokey
Written by Robert Neubecker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

For a brave firefighting airplane, the sky’s the limit! This timeless story of teamwork and determination is perfect for kids who loved The Little Engine That Could and shows how even unlikely heroes can help their community in times of need.

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Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Aviation and...

Books About Aviation and Pilots

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Amelia Earhart
Written by Isabel Sanchez Vegara & illustrated by Mariadiamantes
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Meet Amelia, the fearless female flier! Now available as a board book in the Little People, Big Dreams series, this inspiring and informative little biography follows the life of Amelia Earhart, from her childhood as a tomboy to becoming the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean to her eventual disappearance. With stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, this empowering series celebrates the important life stories of wonderful women of the world. From designers and artists to scientists, all of them went on to achieve incredible things, yet all of them began life as a little child with a dream. These books make the lives of these role models accessible for children, providing a powerful message to inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world!

Buy book
$8.99
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$7.64
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$5.89
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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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$17.99
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The Glorious Flight: Across the Channel with Louis Bleriot July 25, 1909
Written & illustrated by Alice Provensen and Martin Provensen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Winner of the Caldecott Medal, this stunningly illustrated book depicts Louis Bleriot’s historic first cross-Channel flight.

“Factually accurate, yes-but also a witty pictorial reincarnation of Bleriot’s first experience of an airship”—Kirkus Reviews

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Honorable Mentions
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  1. I Am Amelia Earhart - Presents the life of the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, who mysteriously disappeared in 1937 while attempting to fly around the world.

  2. Christmas from Heaven: The True Story of the Berlin Candy Bomber - Christmas from Heaven is the story of the humble beginnings of what became a beacon of hope to a war-torn land, the story of Gail Halvorsen, a young pilot in the US Army Air Corps who was assigned as a cargo pilot to the Berlin Airlift, in which US forces flew much-needed supplies into a Soviet-blockaded Berlin.

  3. Wood, Wire, Wings: Emma Lilian Todd Invents an Airplane - 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.

  4. Fearless Flights of Hazel Ying Lee - Discover an inspiring picture book biography about Hazel Ying Lee, the first Chinese American woman to fly for the US military.

Want to see books about pilots?

Books About Aviation and Flight

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Rosie Revere, Engineer
Written by Andrea Beaty & illustrated by David Roberts
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Rosie may seem quiet during the day, but at night she’s a brilliant inventor of gizmos and gadgets who dreams of becoming a great engineer. When her great-great-aunt Rose (Rosie the Riveter) comes for a visit and mentions her one unfinished goal—to fly—Rosie sets to work building a contraption to make her aunt’s dream come true. But when her contraption doesn’t fly but rather hovers for a moment and then crashes, Rosie deems the invention a failure. On the contrary, Aunt Rose insists that Rosie’s contraption was a raging success: you can only truly fail, she explains, if you quit. From the powerhouse author-illustrator team of Iggy Peck, Architect comes Rosie Revere, Engineer, another charming, witty picture book about believing in yourself and pursuing your passion. Ada Twist, Scientist, the companion picture book featuring the next kid from Iggy Peck’s class, is available in September 2016.

Buy book
$18.99
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$16.14
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$12.56
Used $2.93
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Add to list
The Dreamer
Written & illustrated by Il Sung Na
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Once, there was a pig who admired birds. But he could never join them. Or could he? Thus begins the journey of a pig with big dreams, and the perseverance to make them come true. He develops flight plans, builds experimental contraptions, and has far-flung adventures, but at the end of the day, his favorite thing to do is still to sit and watch for those he loves best: the birds. Il Sung Na creates a world at once whimsical and aspirational, where anything is possible and, yes, even pigs can learn to fly.

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Jacob's Fantastic Flight
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Jacob has a special gift--he can fly!

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Honorable Mentions
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  1. Raid of No Return: A World War II Tale - Nathan Hale tackles a topic fans have been asking about for years: World War II. On December 7, 1941, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, officially bringing the United States into World War II. A new generation of pilots were recruited to fly bombing missions for the United States, and from that group, volunteers were requested for a dangerous secret assignment. For the first time in American history, Army bombers would be launched from an aircraft carrier. Once at sea, they were told their mission was a retaliation strike against targets in Tokyo. But on the day of the raid, a Japanese patrol boat spotted them and they had to launch early, with barely enough fuel to get them past their target. After the bombing, some pilots crashed, some were captured, and many ended up in mainland China and were carried to safety by Chinese villagers, being hunted by Japanese forces all the while. With tales of high-flying action and bravery, Raid of No Return is a story of heartbreak and survival during wartime.

  2. Who Were the Tuskegee Airmen? - It's up, up, and away with the Tuskegee Airmen, a heroic group of African American military pilots who helped the United States win World War II

  3. Away in My Airplane - Fun and playful story by Margaret Wise Brown, best-selling author of the children’s classics <i>Goodnight Moon</i> and <i>Runaway Bunny</i>. <p/><i>Dreaming child, what you shall see, <br> Deep in sleep might someday be. </i> <p/> Explore a magical bedtime world of favorite dreams–from the hidden treasures of Margaret Wise Brown, author of the children’s classics <i>Goodnight Moon</i> and <i>Runaway Bunny</i>.

  4. Up & Down - Swept up by the European ballooning craze of the 1780s, Dr. John Jeffries longed to become the first person to fly across the English Channel. But first he had to outwit a rascally co-pilot, keep the balloon from bursting, and avoid crashing into the sea. The good doctor’s quick-thinking solutions will surprise young readers—and keep them giggling when “lightening the load” is a relief in more ways than one. Don Brown tells this quirky true story with his usual accuracy and heart.

Want to see 10 more books about aviation and flight ?

How about books about flight?

Books About Aviation and Aeronautics, Astronautics And Space Science

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Flight for Freedom: The Wetzel Family’s Daring Escape from East Germany
Written by Kristen Fulton & illustrated by Torben Kuhlmann
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

An Inspiring True Story about One Family’s Escape from Behind the Berlin Wall!

Peter was born on the east side of Germany, the side that wasn’t free. He watches news programs rather than cartoons, and wears scratchy uniforms instead of blue jeans. His family endures long lines and early curfews. But Peter knows it won’t always be this way. Peter and his family have a secret. Late at night in their attic, they are piecing together a hot air balloon—and a plan. Can Peter and his family fly their way to freedom? This is the true story of one child, Peter Wetzel, and his family, as they risk their lives for the hope of freedom in a daring escape from East Germany via a handmade hot air balloon in 1979.

• A perfect picture book for educators teaching about the Cold War, the Iron Curtain, and East Germany
Flight for Freedom is a showcase for lessons of bravery, heroism, family, and perseverance, as well as stunning history.
• Includes detailed maps of the Wetzel family’s escape route and diagrams of their hot air balloon

For fans of historical nonfiction picture books like Let the Children March, The Wall, Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain, Armstrong: The Adventurous Journey of a Mouse to the Moon.

• True life escape stories
• For picture book readers age 5–9
• For teachers, librarians, and historians

Kristen Fulton is a children’s book author. She can always be found with a notebook in hand as she ventures through historical sites and museums. Most of the time she lives in Florida—but she can also be found traveling the country by RV.

Torben Kuhlmann is an award-winning children’s book author and illustrator. Starting in kindergarten he became known as “the draftsman.” Flying machines and rich historical detail often adorn his work. He lives in Hamburg, Germany.

Buy book
$17.99
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$15.29
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$3.49
Used $4.00
Prices as of Apr 16
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National Geographic Kids Little Kids First Board Book: Space
Written & illustrated by Ruth A. Musgrave
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

National Geographic spins off its best-selling Little Kids First Big Book series into engaging new board books to introduce even the littlest kids to high-quality nonfiction. These sturdy pages explore the basics of the solar system with amazing photographs, super-simple facts, and lively, age-appropriate language to keep babies and toddlers–and their grown-ups–fascinated by every colorful page. With stunning photos of the Earth and other planets, this beautiful book introduces the very youngest explorers to the wonders of the space, beginning right here on Earth and expanding into the universe beyond. Designed to be the stepping stone to the Little Kids First Big Book series, the National Geographic Little Kids First Board Books take similar subjects and drill them down to the simplest nonfiction concepts for the youngest audience. Not only will readers learn about planets and our solar system, they can also find recurring shapes and patterns in the design; occasional callouts will add humor for adults, and sidebar text offers additional learning for older siblings or those ready for more complex information.With their square shape, bright and playful design, awesome photography, clear text, and cues to encourage interactive learning, the Little Kids First Board Books mirror the beloved First Big Books while taking a fresh new approach to excite a baby’s sense of wonder and make learning about nature and science fun.

Prices as of Jun 30
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Jumbo: The Making of the Boeing 747
Written & illustrated by Chris Gall
board book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

For the 50th anniversary of the Boeing 747’s first commercial flight, a picture book about the development of the iconic passenger plane and how it changed the history of air travel.

In 1968, the biggest passenger jet the world had ever seen premiered in Everett, Washington. The giant plane was called the Boeing 747, but reporters named it “the Jumbo jet.”

There was only one problem. It couldn’t fly. Yet.

Jumbo details the story of the world’s first wide body passenger jet, which could hold more people than any other plane at the time and played a pivotal role in allowing middle class families to afford overseas travel. Author and illustrator Chris Gall, himself a licensed pilot, shows how an innovative design, hard work by countless people, and ground-breaking engineering put the Jumbo jet in the air.

On January 22, 1970, the Boeing 747 made it’s first transatlantic flight, taking passengers from New York to Paris in seven hours.

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  1. The Skies Above My Eyes - Have you ever looked up and wondered what’s going on high up in the skies above your eyes? Take a journey up into the air, through the atmosphere, way out into space, and back down to Earth in this richly illustrated concertina book. Readers will zoom past the technology that fills our skies, from helicopters, fighter jets, weather balloons, and satellites, hang-gliders and hot-air balloons. They’ll also discover the insects and animals that whizz through the skies, explore the layers of the atmosphere, and travel through the solar system and out to the galaxies far beyond. Following on from The Street Beneath My Feet, which dug down to the centre of the Earth, this expansive concertina book opens out to an impressive 2.5 metres, perfect for inquisitive young minds.

  2. Lighter Than Air: Sophie Blanchard, the First Woman Pilot: Candlewick Biographies - “Smith tells Sophie’s inspiring story with a buoyant sense of wonder, fitting for a woman who was happiest in the air. Her accomplishments and passion for flight are brought beautifully to life by Tavares.” – Booklist (starred review) Take to the skies with the story of Sophie Blanchard, an extraordinary woman who is largely forgotten despite her claim to being the very first female pilot in history. In eighteenth-century France, “balloonomania” has fiercely gripped the nation . . . but all of the pioneering aeronauts are men until a shy girl comes along, devoted to her dream of flight. Sophie is not the first woman to ascend in a balloon, nor the first woman to accompany an aeronaut on a trip, but she will become the first woman to climb to the clouds and steer her own course.

  3. Airport - From the excitement of arrival to the wonder of taking off – a picture book that captures in joyous and powerful images all the magic of an airport.

  4. Let's Fly a Plane!: Launching into the Science of Flight with Aerospace Engineering - Equip the next generation of scientists with a brand new series from Chris Ferrie, the #1 science author for kids! How do airplanes stay up in the sky? That’s the question Red Kangaroo needs answered and she knows exactly who can help her―Dr. Chris! Explore the four forces of flight―drag, lift, thrust and weight―and get ready to take off with this introduction to aerospace engineering. Chris Ferrie offers a kid-friendly introduction to the science of flight in this first installment of his new Everyday Science Academy series. With real-world and practical examples, young readers will have a firm grasp of scientific and mathematical concepts to help answer many of their “why” questions. Perfect for elementary-aged children and supports the Common Core Learning Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, and the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) standards. Backmatter includes a glossary, comprehension questions aligned with Bloom’s Taxonomy and experiments kids can easily do at school or at home!

Books About Aviation and Travel

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Maisy Goes On a Plane: : A Maisy First Experiences Book
Written & illustrated by Lucy Cousins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

What’s it like to travel by plane for the first time? Little flyers are in good company with Maisy leading the way.

Maisy is going to visit her friend Ella, and she is taking a plane to get there. She’s very excited! Join the mouse as she checks in at the airport, finds her seat (by the window!) and makes some new friends on her flight. From the whoosh at takeoff to waiting in line for the bathroom, from buckling seat belts to arriving in a whole new wonderful place, flying is more fun with a friend like Maisy on board.

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Flight of the Bluebird (the Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters Book 3)
Written by Kara LaReau & illustrated by Jen Hill
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Sisters Jaundice and Kale Bland are flown to Egypt, where they are reunited with their parents, whose real identities they learn, and seek to uncover the mysteries of a magical scarab.

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All Aboard! the Airport Train
Written by Nichole Mara & illustrated by Andrew Kolb
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Hop on board to explore the airport in this accordion-style book with flaps to lift on every page All aboard! This accordion-style book folds out car by car, taking readers on a tour of an airport train–inside and out. Readers are asked to help a girl bound for summer camp find her missing plane ticket, and as they search, they are introduced to all the passengers on the train. There are vacationing penguins, glamorous movie stars, traveling musicians, and other silly surprises sure to delight on every read. When readers flip the book over, they’ll discover a panoramic view of the airport–the control tower, runways, and parking lots–dotted with objects for readers to find and count. A fun, interactive ride from beginning to end!

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  1. Everything Goes: In the Air - Follows Henry and his father through an airport as they see and talk about different forms of air transportation, including airplanes, helicopters, and hot air balloons.

  2. Going Places - Move over, Junie B. Jones! Piper Green is back in her fourth chapter-book adventure, and it could take her all the way to China. Suitcase? Check. Passport? Check. Magic X-ray vision glasses from the Fairy Tree? Check, check, check!

  3. Fly High, Katie! - Katie is flying to Florida to visit her grandmother, but she has never been on an airplane before.

  4. The Airport Book - Follow a family and the youngest member’s favorite sock monkey through all the inner and outer workings of an airport. In a book that is as intriguing as it is useful and entertaining, we follow a family on its way through the complexities of a modern-day airport. From checking bags and watching them disappear on the mysterious conveyor belt, to security clearance and a seemingly endless wait at the gate to finally being airborne. But wait! There’s more! The youngest family member’s sock monkey has gone missing. Follow it at the bottom of the page as it makes a journey as memorable as that of the humans above.

Want to see books about travel?

Books About Aviation and Airplanes

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Little Smokey
Written by Robert Neubecker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

For a brave firefighting airplane, the sky’s the limit! This timeless story of teamwork and determination is perfect for kids who loved The Little Engine That Could and shows how even unlikely heroes can help their community in times of need.

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Little Guides to Great Lives: Amelia Earhart
Written by Isabel Thomas & illustrated by Dalia Adillon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-11

The first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, Amelia Earhart was a superstar of aviation in the 1920s and 1930s and a pioneer of women’s rights. Her disappearance in 1937, while attempting to fly around the world, remains an unsolved mystery.

From artists to aviators and scientists to revolutionaries, Little Guides to Great Lives is a brand new series of small-format guides introducing children to the most inspirational figures from history in a fun, accessible way. Launching with Leonardo da Vinci, Marie Curie, Nelson Mandela, and Amelia Earhart, Little Guides to Great Lives tells the stories of the most amazing people from all over the world and across history, with full-color illustrations and fresh design to bring their incredible stories to life.

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Planes Soar
Written & illustrated by Rebecca Glaser
board book
Recommend Ages: 12-4

Take a trip in a plane with this photographic board book.

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Honorable Mentions
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  1. Busy Airport -

  2. Angela's Airplane - When Angela goes to the airport with her father, he gets “lost.” As she wanders around looking for him, she sees an empty airplane. Once inside, she presses one button, then another, until the plane takes off. Luckily, one of the buttons is for the control tower. Angela survives the adventure without a scratch. The same can’t be said for the plane. With simplified text but all the original illustrations, Angela’s Airplane Board Book is a wonderful way to engage very young children in a simple story. The repetitive text makes the story somewhat predictable, thus encouraging children to chime in. Michael Martchenko’s funny illustrations and variations in the text colors and positioning make this a visual treat as well as a story-time favorite.

  3. Where Do Jet Planes Sleep at Night? - The same team that brought you Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night? and Where Do Steam Trains Sleep at Night? have created another high-flying bedtime story--this one for plane enthusiasts!

Books About Aviation and Aeronautics

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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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$16.99
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$18.39
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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
Written by Jef Polivka-Searle and Rob Polivka & illustrated by Rob Polivka
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

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Honorable Mentions
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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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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