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Author: Jorgen Stamp

Illustrator: Jorgen Stamp

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Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books,

Material: hard cover

Summary: Walter the giraffe has dreams of flying high, so, he decides to build an airplane. While building his plane, his friend Sonny, a turtle drops by. Sonny asks if he could try it out, and Walter rudely replies that Sonny would be able to fly the airplane, that the airplane would be too fast and Sonny is too slow. When Walter finishes his airplane and takes it for a spin, he shows off with loop-de-loops and tricks. He ignores a warning from the neighborhood birds who say a storm is coming. Walter gets caught in the storm and when lightning strikes his airplane he crashes into the pond. Walter can't swim and needs rescued. Thankfully Sonny is there, and Walter instantly realizes the mistakes that he's made. Walter rebuilds his plane, this time with TWO seats and puts SONNY in the pilot's chair! This is a story of friendship, forgiveness, and humility for young readers.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, playtime reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 9 to 11

Interest Level: 4 to 9

Reading Level: 3.2

Age of Child: Read with boys ages 2,4, and 6.

Young Reader Reaction: Young boys + airplane = instant fun. I have 3 boys: my 2 year old enjoyed the book; my 4 year old LOVED the book; and my 6 year old snuck the book into bed to read by himself. My 6 year old is reading chapter books, but this picture book still holds a LOT of appeal.

Adult Reader Reaction: I liked this book. I loved that Walter learned his lesson: he was not very nice, and, as a consequence something concretely bad happened to him and he changed as a person in an obvious way. The only thing I did not like about this book was that Walter was VERY VERY hurtful to Sonny. He was more than just rude -- he was downright hurtful. My heart sunk when he said the mean things. I think he was oblivious that they were hurtful words, but I felt them myself. I believe the author could have gotten the point across in a bit gentler of a manner. However, it would not be a point that I would use to justify not reading the book.

Pros: Airplanes, airplanes, airplanes! Fun illustrations. Lesson to be learned about sharing and being nice to your friends.

Cons: The author went a little overboard in making his point about how what we say can affect our friendships.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is a fun book. Definitely worth a read! A lesson to be learned and a fun time to be had!


Educational Themes: This is a book that concretely illustrates egotism and humility in ways that kids can understand. It is a book to enjoy reading and then talking about feelings, choices, and consequences.

Notes: The Reading Tub® picked up this book at the American Library Association annual conference. There are no expectations of review associated with this book.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, animal characters, life lessons, friendship, airplane

Date(s) Reviewed: January 2012

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