It’s no surprise that most kids are fascinated by airplanes; from their design, to their speed, to the pure magic of looking out the window and seeing clouds float by. Plus, the wonder of air travel has yet to be replaced by the adult annoyances of flight delays, missed connections, and lost luggage. Here are six great picture books about airplanes that you can read together during your next trip, or with both feet on the ground. Now the only thing to do is to sit back, relax, and enjoy your flight (read)!
Flight 1-2-3, by Maria van Lieshout
This book about a family heading to the airport is the perfect read to pop into your carry on bag. You can point out the signs you see in its pages (luggage carts, escalators, security officers, gates) as you walk through the terminal. Filled with bright graphic illustrations with pops of yellow, blue, and red, this colorful book also reinforces counting skills.
Planes Fly!, by George Ella Lyon and Mick Wiggins
This fast-paced picture book details various types of planes (from prop planes, to jet planes, to sea planes), and does it all in a rhyming verse that makes it a treat to read out loud. “Planes have engines/Planes have wings/lifted by the air that sings/Planes fly!” And we’re off!
How to Eat an Airplane, by Peter Pearson and Mircea Catusanu
“If you want to eat an airplane, there are a few things you should know.” Judging by the opening lines of this hilarious story you, dear reader, can tell you are in for an unusual ride! Peter Pearson somehow manages to incorporate real dinner party etiquette and airplane facts into a fantastical story line. What other story can instruct young readers to set the table and that the fuselage is the largest part of the plane?
The Boy and the Airplane, by Mark Pett
Mark Pett manages to tell this poignant and lovely story about a boy and his toy plane without using a single word. When the boy accidentally sends his red toy airplane up onto the roof, he has to come up with a plan to get it back. Instead of simply grabbing a ladder (or an adult with a ladder) and retrieving the toy, the boy makes a surprising choice that exemplifies the beauty of patience, time, and giving.
Planes Go, by Steve Light
Your young airplane aficionado is going to love this fun and colorful book! How does a Jumbo jet sound? According to Steve Light, something like “Wheeeeeeeee VRRRRRRRRRRUUUHHHHHHHHHMMM.” Each method of air travel comes with its own accompanying sound effect for an incredibly entertaining and giggle-inducing reading experience.
Airplane Flight!: A Lift-the-Flap Adventure, by Susanna Leonard Hill andAna Martin Larranaga
This book is pure interactive fun, with 10 flaps that your aspiring pilot can lift as you read the delightful rhyming text. (The book itself is even shaped like an airplane!) Buckle up and go for a ride with pilots Captain Bright and Copilot Snow and learn all about planes and airplane travel in the process. (If your child prefers to keep their feet on the ground, you can check out Susanna Leonard’s similarly styled Freight Train Trip book instead!)
What are your kids’ favorite books about airplanes?