Flight: The journey of Charles Lindbergh
Burleigh, Robert. 1991. Flight: The
journey of Charles Lindbergh. Ill. by Mike Wimmer. New York:
Philomel Books. ISBN: 0399222723.
With a winning combination of staccato text and dramatic illustrations,
Burleigh and Wimmer transport readers back to the days when flying was
a daring adventure with many firsts still to be accomplished. This book
offers a snapshot of just such a first as it tells of Charles
Lindbergh's recordsetting transatlantic flight.
Burleigh's text is almost poetic as it uses rhythm to convey actions,
moods, and thoughts of Lindbergh during this daring episode. For
example, as Lindbergh lifts off from the field in New York, the reader
gets a sense of his blur of thoughts and feeling of apprehension
through these words, "A telephone wire stretches across the far end of
the field. To touch this wire will plunge the plane to the ground.
There is an extra fuel tank in front of the cockpit. Because of this,
Lindbergh cannot see straight ahead. Will the Spirit of St. Louis, with its over
5,000 pounds, rise into the air? To keep the plane lighter, Lindbergh
is leaving behind his radio and parachute. Will that be enough?"
(Burleigh, unpaged) In her review for Horn
Book Magazine, Flowers commented, "The use of the present tense
keeps the reader in suspense from the moment the plane takes off until
the moment Lindbergh sets the plane down in Paris
thirty-three-and-a-half hours later." Burleigh's inclusion of details
such as what he ate and beautiful quotes from his journal carried
on the flight add to the authenticity of his text. Burliegh is
also careful to include many mentions of the time as the flight
progresses, which add to the feeling of urgency as the reader realizes
time is passing and fuel is being depleted.
Wimmer's vibrant illustrations grab the reader's attention from the
first page and enhance Burleigh's text. Lindbergh's journey is shown
from many different perspectives, such as a view from the perspective
of a fishing boat, a look at Lindbergh's exhausted face as he struggles
to stay awake through the night, and the view of the Eiffel Tower from
the cockpit as Lindbergh makes his triumphant entrance into Paris.
This book is written in picture book format, and the illustrations
cover all of each double page spread. The text is written in a serif
font that stands out boldly against Wimmer's artwork. An introduction
by Jean Fritz prefaces the text. Except for a short acknowledgement of
Lindbergh's book, The Spirit of St.
Louis, on the Cataloging-in-Publication page, there are no other
access features such as a bibliography or glossary.
Flowers, Ann A. 1991. Flight: The journey of Charles Lindbergh (Book). Horn Book Magazine 67(6). In
EBSCOHost (database online). Available
from http://search.epnet.com/login.asp. Accessed 30 March 2005.