Violet the Pilot

( 5 )

Overview

By the time she's two years old, Violet Van Winkle can fi x nearly any appliance in the house. And by eight she's building elaborate fl ying machines from scratch-mind-boggling contraptions such as the Tubbubbler, the Bicycopter, and the Wing-a-ma-jig. The kids at school tease her, but they have no idea what she's capable of. Maybe she could earn their respect by winning the blue ribbon in the upcoming Air Show. Or maybe something even better will happen-something involving her bestever invention, a Boy Scout ...

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Overview

By the time she's two years old, Violet Van Winkle can fi x nearly any appliance in the house. And by eight she's building elaborate fl ying machines from scratch-mind-boggling contraptions such as the Tubbubbler, the Bicycopter, and the Wing-a-ma-jig. The kids at school tease her, but they have no idea what she's capable of. Maybe she could earn their respect by winning the blue ribbon in the upcoming Air Show. Or maybe something even better will happen-something involving her bestever invention, a Boy Scout troop in peril, and even the mayor himself!

A classic underdog story full of humor and sweetness and retro pizzazz, Violet the Pilot is both endearing and adorable. It'll fl y right into your heart.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken and Sylvia Marantz
Young Violet is a most unusual girl, a mechanical genius. Just eight years old, she has already built a flying machine and many other amazing creations. Partly because of the taunts of her schoolmates, Violet decides to build an aircraft to compete in the local air show. On the way to the show, however, she spots some Boy Scouts adrift from their canoe and headed towards the falls. Saving them, she misses the air show. She is depressed, but soon cheered as a hero and awarded a medal of valor by the mayor. "From that day on, Violet's parents let her fly whenever she wanted. But her mother still made her wear a sweater." The cover displays Violet in a jalopy-like flying machine, blowing bubble-gum bubbles as her dog Orville peers apprehensively over the side. The end pages, on the other hand, present a crisply drawn blueprint for her Hornet plane. Double page scenes created with watercolor and acrylic paints, colored pencil, and Photoshop show her ship-shape house and her creative experiences in the junkyard. Violet is charming and fearless; her Hornet is a delightfully imaginative invention. One textless sequence allows us to loop the loop while Orville needs to use the "barf bag." Reviewer: Ken and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

K-Gr 3- An engaging story of a spunky girl who follows her dreams. A precocious child, Violet could fix household appliances at age two. At four, she could take apart and reassemble a grandfather clock. Her mechanical skills were amazing; her social skills were not. At age eight, Violet creates elaborate flying machines using parts from her family's junkyard, but still has no friends. Other kids find her strange and make fun of her, and her only companion is her dog, Orville. When she sees a poster for an upcoming air show, she hopes to win acceptance by participating with one of her homemade contraptions. She builds a magnificent aircraft, but on her way to the show, she passes over a river and spots several Boy Scouts who are floundering in the rapids. She stops to rescue them and misses the event. Violet thinks she has lost her chance for approval, until the townspeople declare her their hero. Done in watercolors, acrylics, and Photoshop, the lively cartoon artwork evokes a nostalgic setting. Violet's various inventions are clever and amusing. Children will be inspired by her ability to find happiness with herself, despite the rejection of her peers. Violet is a terrific role model and her story would enhance most collections.-Mary Hazelton, Elementary Schools in Warren & Waldoboro, ME

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Violet Van Winkle is an inventor with a flair for air. Her father manages a junkyard and while other girls play with dolls and tea sets, Violet is busy tinkering with monkey wrenches and needle-nosed pliers building elaborate contraptions, especially flying machines, like her Bicycopter, Pogo Plane and Wing-a-ma-jig. Kids at school make fun of her, but Violet hopes that if she wins an air-show competition with her special plane, The Hornet, they'll be nice to her. On show day, she carefully calculates her flying time but diverts from her course to rescue a troop of Boy Scouts who have fallen into a river and drops them (literally) at the hospital. Sadly, her heroism makes her too late to enter the air show but her misery evaporates when the mayor presents her with a medal of valor. The comical cover is a grabber: Violet is piloting a homemade plane wearing a helmet and goggles and blowing bubble gum with Orville, her dog's ears streaming in the wind like her scarf. The cartoon illustrations of watercolor, acrylic and pencil soar with inventive details and angles, e.g. close-up of Violet's face in midair with bugs on her teeth. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803731257
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/13/2008
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 93,703
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD740L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 11.40 (w) x 8.71 (h) x 0.38 (d)

Meet the Author

Author/illustrator Steve Breen is a Pulitzer Prize–winning editorial cartoonist and the creator of the comic strip Grand Avenue. Stick, his picture-book debut, is rambunctious, silly, and couldn’t be more endearing. Steve Breen lives in San Diego, California.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2014

    I bought this book at the EAA airshow for my then 4-year old dau

    I bought this book at the EAA airshow for my then 4-year old daughter.  She absolutely loves this book!  My oldest daughter actually enjoys it so much that she hooked her little sister (2yrs old) into it as well.  We read it so much that my oldest has actually memorized it almost word for word and now "reads" it to her little sisters.  The illustrations are great and it's a comfortable "challenge" book for my preschooler as far as vocabulary is concerned.  The bonus is how it displays a positive view of women in flight and how awesome having a great imagination can be!  Definitely a cherished favorite in our family!

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  • Posted September 14, 2012

    Brilliant!!

    My son and I borrowed this book from our local library several times before we "just had to have it." The story of Violet, an industrious and exceptionally creative young character is both imaginative and inspiring, and the illustrations are fun! A wonderful lesson for children whose individual gifts, which may lead others to target them unkindly, can also lead to the promotion of flexibility and community, and to self fufillment.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2012

    Recommend this books for any kid who loves planes!!

    My niece loves having her very own Violet the Pilot. We read it every day at nap time.

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  • Posted September 13, 2009

    Read To Me Book

    Wonderful story and fantastic illustrations!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews

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