Glorious Flight

Glorious Flight

Across the Channel with Louis Bleriot

by Alice Provensen, Martin Provensen
Publisher: Puffin Books
Trade Paperback, 39 pages
List Price: $6.99 Sale Price: $5.94

Historical Setting: France, England, 1900-1909 A. D.

Louis Blériot is determined to build (and pilot) a flying machine. His many attempts bring him closer and closer to success, his eager children cheering him on. One plane tries to take off from water. It crashes. One plane only goes around in circles. Finally, one day, Louis Blériot makes a plane that actually flies. But the ultimate test is still ahead. Blériot will win one thousand pounds if he can be the first man to fly all the way across the English channel. Will he make it?

The many contributions of European aviators to flight are often overlooked. Blériot's famous flight across the channel only lasted thirty-six minutes, but it was groundbreaking. At the time, the implications of flight were still being explored.

Husband and wife team Alice and Martin Provensen chose a lush brown color palette for their children's version of Blériot's biography. The effect gives the book an old-fashioned sepia tone feeling. Stormy watercolors reflect the tension of the trans-channel flight.

The Provensens also chose to show the family being actively engaged in Blériot's attempts. Blériot's wife and five children cheer on his successes. They're there at his flights. His relatively large family is shown to be a positive thing. By choosing to emphasize his family and by referring to him as "papa" during the channel flight, the Provensens raise the stakes, making this more of a personal story. That makes his victory a more personal victory. The unique vintage feeling, the importance of family, and the fun read-aloud prose makes this a great picture book all around.

Review by Lauren Shearer
Lauren Shearer writes words for fun and profit. She also makes films, but everyone knows you can't make a profit doing that. Her other hobby is consistently volunteering way too much of her time. You can read more of her reviews here.

Review by Lauren Shearer
Lauren Shearer writes words for fun and profit. She also makes films, but everyone knows you can't make a profit doing that. Her other hobby is consistently volunteering way too much of her time. You can read more of her reviews here.
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Summary: Louis Bleriot attempts to be the first man to fly across the English channel.

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