CM . . .
. Volume XIII Number 13 . . . . February 16, 2007
In The Airplane Ride, a young boy rides on a plane with his parents across North America for the first time to visit his grandparents. The story is told in a sing-songy rhyme that children will enjoy as they are read to. The pictures are colorful, and readers/listeners experience the journey of flight with Mikey and his stuffed bunny Boo as though it were the audience’s first time.
The book prepares young children for flying by mentioning such things as Mikey’s feeling a little dizzy on the plane, enjoying the bumps of flying, looking outside the window and seeing his house, "shrink smaller than a mouse," and eating dinner on a plane.
The language used in the book is appropriate for kids ages 2-5. An example: "Cars and trucks crawl like ants/trees look like broccoli plants." The pictures in the book do a great job of introducing children to the sights and sounds they will see from the air as they travel across North America. From his birds' eye view, Mikey sees cities with tall buildings and cars, seaports with ships and seagulls, dense green forest, and mountains with ski hills and reindeer. The farmlands of the Midwest are full of color and pride as Mikey sees cows and tractors, "land like a big checkered floor," and bright, shining sunflowers. Lastly, Mikey is introduced to the fall colours of the Great Lakes, and he sees the Great Canada Goose flying over tugboats and logging boats.
The travel log is halted when Mikey and Boo are served dinner on the plane and night falls, preparing him for a cozy, restful sleep during the rest of the trip. At the end of the story, he is reunited with his grandparents, arms open wide with hugs.
I especially recommend this book for children preparing to fly for the first time and for children who are looking forward to their first flight in the sky.
Other great books in this series: The Ferryboat Ride and its companion volume, The Ferryboat Ride Colouring Book.
Stephanie Yamniuk, who lives in Winnipeg, MB, has taught first grade and is the Director of UNICEF Prairie Region.
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