Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
A family of four embarks on an airplane journey from a seaside location; as they do, Heurer (Esme's Birthday Conga Line), employing playful, rhythmic text, muses about the people on board. The family's school-age child gazes into the cockpit, where a pilot is "living her dream" as passengers of varying ages, body types, skin tones, and groupings board. Each person has their own travel strategy--some read, some snooze, some schmooze--but a patch of turbulence ("Up, down. Up, down./ Drinks drip drop./ Tummies flip flop") briefly forges an affable community among the strangers, who lend "an earbud... an ear." Then the plane lands, and everyone heads off to their own destination--including the central family, which seems to have arrived at a new home. Digitally finished gouache and cut paper drawings by Palacios (I'll Go and Come Back) are filled with personality (readers should get a kick out of spotting how the characters behave and connect) and compositions that revel in the cabin's spaces, including the precious sliver of air between seats. Air travel may not always be glamorous, but the creators' affection for it is evident and affirming in this book that makes the journey the primary story. Ages 3--7. Author's agent: Kelly Sonnack, Andrea Brown Literary. Illustrator's agents: Minju Chang and Kendra Marcus, BookStop Literary. (Oct.)
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Review by School Library Journal Review
PreS-Gr 1--A biracial family of four sells their home in preparation for the move to a faraway city. Their means of transportation is an airplane, where their journey intersects with the paths of many other travelers, each with a unique identity and purpose. Heuer gives us glimpses of these characters with well-crafted descriptive phrases ("a bookworm reads a textbook," "a sleepyhead awakens") amid evocative sensory language ("ice crystals bloom," "Drinks drip drop"). Palacios lovingly fills in the details of these thrown-together voyagers, the cool tones of the mixed-media illustrations summoning an unexpected depth of characterization from brief impressions throughout the flight. To be sure, the familiar irritants of air travel (noise, crowding, uncertainty) are all present. But a close observation of each passenger's story arc reveals a temporary community shot through with optimism and good cheer. A young boy flies on his own with the kind supervision of a friendly flight attendant. A man who initially jostles a woman's snacks by reclining his seat later offers her a stick of gum, and they leave the plane chatting happily together. A woman working busily on her laptop loses her sticky notes during turbulence, but a fellow passenger gathers them and hands them back in a neat pile. Certain abstract phrases ("someone in the service of work that is important," "two travel as one," "Someone lends an ear") may require explanation from an adult, but they should serve as valuable opportunities for observation and discussion. VERDICT This thoughtful, human portrait of air travel will make an unusual and resonant addition to all collections.--Jonah Dragan
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Review by Kirkus Book Review
An intro to airline travel, from boarding to landing. Step onboard and join a young family that is relocating as they travel in a plane flown by a brown-skinned pilot "living her dream." Some passengers are just beginning their journeys; others are returning home. Each spread begins with the phrase "On this airplane," followed by a description of passengers or activities. Caregivers and educators reading this tale aloud should allow extra time for children to match details in the illustrations to the information in the text and perhaps discuss personal travel plans. Readers will enjoy finding the sleeper and daydreamer, the busy laptop user and the soldier, a young solo traveler, and a soon-to-be mother ("two travel[ing] as one"). The images don't show anyone wearing seat belts, so adults may want to remind future travelers to do so. Later spreads describe the sounds of takeoff; passengers help each other cope with turbulence, offering a familiar hand to hold (a previously self-centered, seat-reclining traveler proves thoughtful, giving another passenger a piece of gum). Passengers land, deboard, and move through the terminal to meet friends and retrieve luggage; the story closes with the family reaching their new home. Detailed illustrations created with gouache, cut paper, and digital media depict a group of passengers diverse in terms of age and race; the family includes a brown-skinned parent, a lighter-skinned parent, a brown-skinned child, and a tan-skinned baby. (This book was reviewed digitally.) A calm, informing preflight primer and an engaging book to pack to ensure a smooth trip. (Picture book. 3-7) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.