16 Children's Books About Flight

Updated Jan. 19, 2019
Rosie Revere, Engineer book
#1
Rosie Revere, Engineer
Written by Andrea Beaty and 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.

Amelia Earhart book
#2
Amelia Earhart
Written by Isabel Sanchez Vegara and 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!

Floaty book
#3
Floaty
Written and illustrated by John Himmelman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Blah! Mr. Raisin is a bit of a grump. He lives all alone in a little house, and he likes it that way just fine. One day, a mysterious basket appears on Mr. Raisin’s doorstep. When he opens it up, it seems there’s nothing inside . . . until he notices a floating dog bobbing along his ceiling. What follows is a heartwarming, hilarious tale about embracing the unexpected—and finding friendship that takes you to new heights.

Those Magnificent Sheep In Their Flying Machines book
#4
Those Magnificent Sheep In Their Flying Machines
Written by Peter Bently and illustrated by David Roberts
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

The sheep on the hillside were munching away, much as they always did, day after day, when suddenly something went ZOOM overhead! "Let's go and see what it is!" they all said. And so begins a ripping, round-the-world adventure as the magnificent sheep take to skies in their spiffing, yellow flying machine...

Bertie Wings It! book
#5
Bertie Wings It!
Written by Leslie Gorin and illustrated by Brendan Kearney
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

Bertie the birdie knows: he's ready to fly from the nest and into the sky. But whenever he's about to take wing, his fellow feathered friends squawk at him to STOP and follow their advice instead. But not one of these "experts"--the persuasive penguin, the emu, or the kiwi--has ever actually flown! Will Bertie learn to trust his own instincts . . . and soar?

Baby Loves Aerospace Engineering! book
#6
Baby Loves Aerospace Engineering!
Written by Ruth Spiro and illustrated by Irene Chan
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

Big, brainy science for the littlest listeners Accurate enough to satisfy an expert, yet simple enough for baby, this book explores the basics of flight - from birds, to planes and rockets - and ties it all to baby's world. Beautiful, visually stimulating illustrations complement age-appropriate language to encourage baby's sense of wonder. Parents and caregivers may learn a thing or two, as well!

Tessa Takes Wing book
#7
Tessa Takes Wing
Written by Richard Jackson and illustrated by Julie Downing
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

In this illustrated whimsical tale, baby Tessa knows just what she wants: to play with all her sister's toys. But how will she get to them? Flying, of course! Full color.

Pop! book
#8
Pop!
Written by Jason Carter Eaton and illustrated by Matt Rockefeller
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

An afternoon of popping soap bubbles takes a turn for the adventuresome as Dewey races to pop that one elusive bubble that keeps...getting...away! Full color.

Up & Down book
#9
Up & Down
Written and illustrated by Don Brown
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

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.

Lighter Than Air: Sophie Blanchard, the First Woman Pilot: Candlewick Biographies book
#10
Lighter Than Air: Sophie Blanchard, the First Woman Pilot: Candlewick Biographies
Written by Matthew Clark Smith and illustrated by Matt Tavares
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

"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.

Caterpillar to Butterfly book
#11
Caterpillar to Butterfly
Written and illustrated by Frances Barry
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

How does a caterpillar become a butterfly? Open out the petal-shaped pages, one by one, and watch a transformation unfold. First there's a tiny egg on a leaf, then a caterpillar hatching, just big enough to see. Look at the caterpillar munching away, growing and shedding layers of skin so it can grow some more. Follow as it spins a thread into a green and golden chrysalis, hanging in the sun. Are you ready to see a glorious transformation when all the page turns are done? Cleverly leading readers through each stage of the caterpillar's life cycle, Caterpillar to Butterfly is sure to set curiosity into flight.

Look, There's a Helicopter! book
#12
Look, There's a Helicopter!
Written by Nosy Crow and illustrated by Esther Aarts
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

"Follow the holes to read the story in this interactive flying adventure! Little ones will love finding the holes with their fingers, peeping through and turning the page to see what they become. With a gentle rhyming text encouraging children to say what they can spy in every scene, this is a journey through the stars to visit time and time again."--Provided by publisher.

Nope book
#13
Nope
Written and illustrated by Drew Sheneman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A nurturing mama bird, a fearful baby, and a nest in a tall, tall tree. Ready, set, soar? Nope! Sweetly and humorously told, here is a sparkling debut about the joys that come from embracing new experiences, written and illustrated by nationally-syndicated cartoonist Drew Sheneman.

Tomo Takes Flight book
#14
Tomo Takes Flight
Written and illustrated by Trevor Lai
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Best friends Tomo and Maya discover a drawing of a magnificent Flying Machine in their adventure journal. With engineering know-how and determination, Tomo decides to build it himself and explore the skies! But no matter how many times he tries, the machine just won’t work…until they spot a rare bird whose nest has fallen. By studying the bird’s wings, Tomo and Maya know just what they need to take flight! Once aloft, Tomo is able to help the bird find a new perch for its nest. In this sequel to Tomo Explores the World, the friends learn that sometimes it takes a perseverance and observation to truly soar. Perfect for young makers and animal lovers, Tomo Takes Flight is a fun and inspiring story that emphasizes creativity and imagination to achieve your goals.

Spring Hare book
#15
Spring Hare
Written and illustrated by Eugene Yelchin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

An adorable baby hare springs into an adventure, following his human friend up, up, and away in this flight of fancy. He follows his friend ever higher, flying through fluffy white clouds, chasing a red airplane through a flock of geese, and soaring into space on a rocket ship, before catching a ride on a shooting star back down to earth—and into his friend’s waiting arms. With bright, kid-friendly collage, this is a beautiful and accessible celebration of Spring and the imagination!

Science Comics: Flying Machines book
#16
Science Comics: Flying Machines
Written by Alison Wilgus and illustrated by Molly Brooks
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

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.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected]!