The Glorious Flight
Across the Channel with Louis Blériot
by Alice and Martin Provensen
This is the story of Louis Blériot, who was the first person to fly across the English Channel in the early 1900s.
After seeing the first air ship crossing over the city of Cambrai, in France, Louis Blériot decides to build a "flying machine". It took him many years and many attempts, but he never gave up. In 1909, after many crashes, the "Blériot XI" succeed in crossing over the channel in 37 minutes.
Every attempt to create the flying machine is recorded in this book with a picture that illustrates how each new invention looked like, from the first "draft" too small for a person to sit in it, to the airplane that finally crossed the channel.
Louis Blériot's is showed persevering and positive during the whole story. He not only had to learn how to build a plane, but he also needed to learn to pilot one. He never says he failed, but he "almost flew", "he is learning", "he is getting lots of practice". In every page is also possible to see his family, friends and community supporting Blériot in this challenge.
I find the illustrations very interesting and appropriate. They look like old photographs but with some color.
Children between 5 and 8 years old will enjoy this book. I'd say this is a good option to introduce the younger ones to non fiction books different from the usual "counting" and "alphabet" ones. Inventions is always a good way to introduce history and science to the little readers.
*This review is part of my project Characters with character