Wood, Wire, Wings: Emma Lilian Todd Invents an Airplane


Wood, Wire, Wings

By Kirsten W. Larson

Illustrated by Tracy Subisak

Calkins Creek


Available Feb. 25, 2020

PREORDER NOW   Indiebound     Amazon     Barnes & Noble

This riveting nonfiction picture book biography explores both the failures and successes of self-taught engineer Emma Lilian Todd as she tackles one of the greatest challenges of the early 1900s: designing an airplane.

Emma Lilian Todd’s mind was always soaring–she loved to solve problems. Lilian tinkered and fiddled with all sorts of objects, turning dreams into useful inventions. As a child, she took apart and reassembled clocks to figure out how they worked. As an adult, typing up patents at the U.S. Patent Office, Lilian built the inventions in her mind, including many designs for flying machines. However, they all seemed too impractical. Lilian knew she could design one that worked. She took inspiration from both nature and her many failures, driving herself to perfect the design that would eventually successfully fly. Illustrator Tracy Subisak‘s art brings to life author Kirsten W. Larson’s story of this little-known but important engineer.


NEW: Free 15-minute Skype Visits February – May 2020

When WOOD, WIRE, WINGS releases February 25, 2020, read and discuss the book with your kids. Then reach out to me at creatingcurioukids [at] gmail [dot] com to schedule a virtual, 15-minute visit with your classroom or library. I can FaceTime and Google Hangout too. Virtual visits must take place between February and May 2020.

Want to make sure you don’t miss the release day? Mark WOOD, WIRE, WINGS “to read” on Goodreads, and you’ll get an email when it releases. Or preorder at your store of choice (see links above).

I’ll have an educator’s guide available in February chock full of ideas for using my book in your classroom or storytime.


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