Review by Booklist Review
Aída de Acosta has the distinction of being the first woman to fly a motored aircraft in 1903, about six months before the Wright brothers' famous first flight. De Acosta, a Hispanic American teenager, was visiting Paris when she observed a flying machine and became determined to learn to fly it herself. Alberto Santos-Dumont, Brazil's Father of Aviation and the airship inventor, understood her desire and gave her three lessons before she made her one and only solo flight. Playful language with intermittent rhymes and repetition results in an enjoyable easy-to-read biography for young children of a little-known historical figure. The digitally enhanced mixed-media illustrations in blues, browns, greens, and rust reveal a variety of perspectives and were created using colored pencil, gouache, and markers. De Acosta's determination in making her dream come true serves as an inspiration to young girls: they can soar in whatever endeavor they choose to pursue: If that man can fly, so can I. All I need are some lessons and a chance to try! --Owen, Maryann Copyright 2017 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Writing in upbeat, intermittently rhyming verse, Engle tells the true story of Aída de Acosta, an American woman of Cuban and Spanish descent who piloted an early flying machine. While visiting Paris as a teenager, Acosta is awestruck by eccentric inventor Alberto Santos-Dumont's motorized aircrafts and is determined to pilot one. Despite objections-"Girls, they hollered, should only be allowed/ to learn how to cook, sew, and clean,/ but girls, they bellowed, should never/ be taught how to fly/ huge machines"-Acosta successfully flies a dirigible, landing in a polo field near Paris. Palacios's mixed-media artwork features ruby and sapphire jewel tones, including in flocks of red birds that accompany Acosta's journey. Engle delivers a sweetly uplifting story about a girl who "only needed courage and a chance to try." Ages 4-8. Agent: Michelle Humphrey, Martha Kaplan Agency. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review
Gr 2-5-Aída de Acosta's fascination with flying and her determination to do so allowed her to accomplish this very task as a young teenager. She studied under Alberto Santos-Dumont and after various lessons, flew an airship during a sunny day in Paris. Unfortunately, when she landed, she was met by an unruly crowd who shouted insults at her (even her mother was opposed). What were they to think of a woman flying; after all, the year was 1903! In the text, however, Santos-Dumont greets her with kind words: "You're a hero, such a brave inspiration for all the girls of the world!" The mixed-media illustrations flow perfectly with the story and provide a calming tone. This introductory biography will guide readers on their way to finding out more about de Acosta and women in aeronautics in general. The author's note provides valuable information about both de Acosta and Santos-Dumont. VERDICT A great resource for STEM classrooms and readers interested in historical figures who paved the way for modern day pioneers.-Martha Rico, El Paso ISD, TX © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review
In this slightly fictionalized account (with brief invented dialogue) Engle and Palacios introduce readers to Ada de Acosta (18841962), who defied the sexist attitudes of her era to learn to pilot dirigibles. Lilting, intermittently rhyming text shows teenage Adas curiosity, as she convinces the airships inventor to teach her to fly despite her mothers protests. The book highlights the difficulties Ada faced, from smaller problems such as when her long dress made it hard to exit the airship to larger ones like the jeers from angry strangers after her groundbreaking flight. Mixed-media illustrations range from serviceable to whimsical and capture the giant scale of the dirigibles without sacrificing detail in scenes of people on the ground. A motif of red birds throughout reflects Adas buoyant spirit. A biographical note, including the information that Ada kept silent about her story for years afterward in deference to her father, is appended. This story based on the life of a Latina air-and-space pioneer is a welcome addition to the growing list of picture-book biographies of women who defied expectations. christina l. dobbs (c) Copyright 2018. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
National Young People's Poet Laureate Engle brings to children the story of Ada de Acosta, who in 1903 became the first woman to fly a motorized aircraft.In her trademark free-verse style, Engle tells the story of Ada, a white Hispanic teenager from New Jersey who, on a trip to Paris, is dazzled by the sight of a balloon gliding by with an air boat dangling beneath and a man inside it. Determined to fly too, Ada approaches the inventor of the airship: Alberto Santos-Dumont, a Brazilian inventor known in his country as the father of aviation, achieving flight six months before the Wright brothers. Ada learns to fly, and fly she does, much to the consternation of her contemporaries: "girls, they bellowed, should never / be taught how to fly / huge machines." Palacios' exuberant mixed-media artwork is vibrant and colorful, in tune with Ada. Readers will chuckle at her portrayal of an aerial dinner with the waiters on stilts. In a closing note the author gives additional detail, including Ada's promise to her father that she would keep her daring deed a secret and, later in life, after losing an eye to glaucoma, her becoming the director of the first eye bank in America.A beautiful account of a young woman who knew that all she needed to reach her dream was courage and a chance to try. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.