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Ships of the Air
     

Ships of the Air

by Lynn Curlee
 

In text and thirteen strikingly realistic paintings, Ships of the Air traces the development of the dirigible, creating an evocative picture of one aspect of man's search for the secret of flight.

Overview

In text and thirteen strikingly realistic paintings, Ships of the Air traces the development of the dirigible, creating an evocative picture of one aspect of man's search for the secret of flight.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Hot-air balloons that are as lovely as floating Fabergé eggs add a sense of magic to the story of the origins of air travel. . . . This brief history of that era delights as well as it informs." Kirkus Reviews with Pointers
Children's Literature - Donna Brumby
This is a very nicely illustrated short survey of the history of lighter-than-air craft. The text relates clearly and logically the story from the first hot air balloon experiments in France through the Nazi Zeppelin raids to today's "floating billboards." There is not much here to cause excitement or increased interest in the subject, but the contents will serve students needing material for reports or projects and those already interested in blimps or hot-air balloons. The illustrations are clean and show enough detail to maintain accuracy, but could have benefited from at least one close-up and an interior scene.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5Though limited in scope, Ships of the Air provides a fascinating journey through the history of lighter-than-air flight. From the first hot air balloon flight to the use of blimps today, Curlee whets readers' appetite for more. He gives an overview of hot air balloons, dirigibles, zeppelins, and blimps. Information about how they were invented, designed, used, and the people involved is presented in a pleasing format in chronological order. The book serves as a springboard to more in-depth offerings such as Joshua Stoff's Dirigible (Macmillan, 1985; o.p.). Shelley Tanaka's The Disaster of the Hindenburg (Scholastic, 1993) gives a detailed account of the tragedy that ended the airship era. Curlee presents not only the Hindenburg, but also other ships such as the Graf Zeppelin, "The Queen of the Skies," which had a perfect safety record in its 12 years of service. Airships that served as early airplane carriers and the Union Civil War Balloon Corps are profiled as well. The author points out that with the renewed popularity of hot-air ballooning, lighter-than-air flight has come full circle. What makes this title stand out are the acrylic paintings. Full- and double-page spreads capture in well-crafted detail the majesty of these flying ships. A great introduction.Jane Claes, T. J. Lee Elementary School, Irving, TX
Kirkus Reviews
The enchanting, vibrant paintings of balloon ships in this book would be perfect for framing even if they weren't also perfectly suited to the text. As depicted by Curlee (who illustrated Dennis Haseley's Horses With Wings, 1993), hot-air balloons that are as lovely as floating Fabergé eggs add a sense of magic to the story of the origins of air travel. More than a hundred years before the Wright brothers and the first airplane took flight, the first hot-air balloon, "made of silk, lined with paper, and held together with buttons in buttonholes," was built in 1793 by two French brothers, Joseph and Étienne Montgolfier. Other inventors improved balloon travel; however, as Curlee explains, the "story of lighter-than-air travel is mainly the story of failures." The explosion of the Hindenburg, depicted in firework-inspired colors of bright yellow and orange, marked the end of the era of great airships. This brief history of that era delights as well as it informs.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780395693384
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
09/01/1996
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.56(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
1010L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Lynn Curlee is a fine artist whose work has been exhibited extensively. Mr. Curlee lives in Jamesport, New York, with Willie, his Great Dane.

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