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Children's LiteratureReaders will do a double take when they see the cover of this book. The illustrations show what appears at first to be two planes flying in tight formation. However, on closer inspection, the reader sees that it is not two planes but one very strange aircraft called a Twin Type. In Weird and Wonderful Aircraft, the author briefly touches on the job of an aircraft designer, early inventors, massive multi-planes, German oddities, strange World War II twin types, piston powered planes, parasite planes, flying hybrids (a car with wings!), supersonic aircraft, VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing), flying wings, human powered aircraft, canards, and a spotters' guide. The page design is heavy on images and consequently the text is made up of a group of short fact blurbs to introduce the subject matter. This will especially appeal to struggling readers. Weird and Wonderful Aircraft is part of "The Story of Flight Series." Each book in the series is heavily illustrated with lots of labeled diagrams, cut-away illustrations, size comparison silhouettes, color photographs, black and white photographs and sketches, computer-generated art, and great impressionistic paintings. A team of illustrators contributed to each book. Many of the illustrations, especially some of the computer-generated art, are beautiful. Other illustrations seem tight and technically awkward. The back of the book contains a glossary and index. This series from Crabtree Publishing also includes the titles Air Combat, Amazing Flights - the Golden Age, Commercial Aviation, Flying for Fun, Helicopters, Military Aircraft of WWI, Military Aircraft of WWII, Modern Military Aircraft, Seaplanes and Naval Aviation, SpaceFlight, and The Wright Brothers and Other Pioneers of Flight. 2004, Crabtree, Ages 7 to 12.
—Sally J. K. Davies