TITLE: THE DARING MISS QUIMBY
AUTHOR: Suzanne George Whitaker
ILLUSTRATOR: Catherine Stock
PUBLICATION INFO: Holiday House, 2009
INTENDED AUDIENCE: ages 4 to 8
GENRE: nonfiction picture book, history
OPENING and SYNOPSIS:
“Harriet Quimby was the picture of a modern American woman of 1912.”
From the publisher:
“In 1912, airplanes looked like bicycles with wings and only men flew these new machines. When the spirited young woman, Harriet Quimby, decided to learn to fly, everyone said it would be too dangerous. But Harriet tried it anyway. Soon the whole country was just wild about this daring woman, dressed in her special purple satin flight suit, who flew through the skies to become the first woman in the United States to earn her pilot’s license and fly across the English Channel.”
THEMES/TOPICS: women’ history, aviation, biography
WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK: What’s not to love about Harriet Quimby? While most women of her day sported corsets and long dresses, she donned a shiny purple flight suit. She also drove fast cars, wrote for magazines, and enjoyed adventure after adventure in the days before women could even vote. Whitaker’s book conveys Harriet’s spirit and zest for life in an age-appropriate way. And Stock’s watercolor images are simply heavenly.
- Whitaker includes an in-depth author’s note and women in aviation timeline. See an online timeline here.
- Kids can learn about the science of flight at the National Air and Space Museum’s “How Things Fly” website.
- NASA has a number of aeronautics educator resources on its website.
- Why not build your own paper airplane? Try different designs and see which flies the best.
You’ll find way more cool books at Susanna Leonard Hill’s “Perfect Picture Books.” Every Friday folks review a host of new books. Join us!