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Pilot Mom

Pilot Mom

by Kathleen Benner Duble, Alan Marks (Illustrator)

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Children of the military-and those of pilots in particular-may find kinship with this middling story's conflicted protagonist. Narrator Jenny Strom and her best friend, K.C., spend a morning with Jenny's mother before she leaves on a training mission. Although proud of her "smart, brave, calm mom, who is also a pilot," Jenny's worries dominate the story (and they may raise the anxieties of readers as well): "I pictured her flying over the ocean, where if something should happen, she would be alone in cold, deep water." Like Jenny's friend K.C., airplane lovers will lock in on Duble's (Bridging Beyond) story's best feature-aeronautical details, including aspects of the mother's uniform and equipment, plus the woman's stories of a scary landing and a Saudi control tower's refusal to acknowledge a woman pilot. Marks's (Planet Zoo) light-toned watercolors offer many realistic renderings of the planes and the inside of a cockpit. Unfortunately, characters fare less well, looking amateurish and somewhat inconsistent from one spread to the next. A tacked-on ending-Jenny decides she doesn't want to be a pilot but does want to be a mom-elicits a perfunctory response ("That's the finest job I know, Jenny"). Ages 4-9. (July) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Jennie is concerned because her mom is a tanker pilot about to leave on a training mission in Europe. Jennie's friend K. C. considers that exciting and goes with Jennie and her mom to tour the air base just before the mission begins. Jennie is sad because she and her dad will be alone and she also worries about the possibility of her mom being sent to a war zone, as she was during the Gulf War. The story proceeds in a straightforward manner, with Jennie expressing her concern as they visit the base and go inside one of the planes. Jennie is proud of her mom and finally is able to be reassured. The book makes a point about women being allowed to do such jobs and having the ability to carry through. Watercolor illustrations capture the size and power of the aircraft and show Jennie, K. C., and Major Strom, Jennie's mom, at various areas throughout the base. 2003, Talewinds/Charlesbridge,
— Carolyn Mott Ford
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-When her friend excitedly wakes her by yelling, "Time to suit up!" Jenny rises slowly. Today is the day she is supposed to show K. C. where her mom works. But Jenny is not as thrilled, because her mother is a tanker pilot in the Air Force and is about to go on a training mission in Europe. Although the girl knows that this trip is not the same as when her mom went off to war, her uneasiness is clear. As they complete their usual ritual of filling the pockets of her flight suit, the woman speaks honestly and openly about the pride she takes in her work, and the realities of her duties. On the tarmac, she reminds Jenny that she is on a routine mission and will be able to call home often. The quality of the watercolor-and-ink illustrations is inconsistent and the art doesn't always support the story. For example, when Jenny asks, "But what if there is a war?" mother and daughter are barely distinguishable underneath an Air Force jet depicted on the facing page. Still, the book is a worthwhile addition as there is a shortage of material addressing this issue.-Wanda Meyers-Hines, Ridgecrest Elementary School, Huntsville, AL Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Jenny and her best friend K.C. get a tour of the air base and airplane where Jenny's Mom is a tanker pilot. Jenny fears for her mother and misses her when she's away, but she's also very proud of her. The girls get to go on the plane and try on the pilots' cool helmets. Jenny's mother loves her job, and allows Jenny talk through all of her worries, acknowledging and responding to them. She tells the girls about the time in Saudi Arabia the control tower wouldn't answer because they didn't think women should be pilots, and she had to get her male co-pilot to make the radio call. Marks's pictures are quite wonderful, gorgeous depictions of the planes, inside and out, on the ground and in the air. Jenny's blonde, K.C. is African-American; they and Jenny's parents and other people at the air base are fully and realistically rendered. A lot of information made palatable for young people while responding to their questions and fears in a post- "shock and awe" world. (Picture book. 5-10)

Product Details

Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 11.40(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
5 - 9 Years

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