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The Little Airplane (Lois Lenski Books) Hardcover – May 27, 2003


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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Mr. Small is a high-flying pilot in this adventure! Pilot Small prepares for his flight, and then enjoys the bird?s-eye view from above. As fresh today as when it was first published, this fun and informative look at flying is perfect for airplane trips.

About the Author

Lois Lenski was the author and illustrator of more than 90 books for children, including the very popular "Mr. Small" picture books. She is counted among the most influential author-illustrators of the twentieth century. She was awarded the Newbery Medal for STRAWBERRY GIRL and a Newbery Honor for both INDIAN CAPTIVE and PHEBE FAIRCHILD.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 2 - 5 years
  • Series: Lois Lenski Books
  • Hardcover: 56 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (May 27, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 037581079X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375810794
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 0.4 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,140 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

The illustrations are beautiful and the story is nice.
high expectations
This book is also great for older children who want to know more about the basic mechanics of airplanes and flight.
Amelia S.
It is a very informative book for 3-5 year old children.
John Ong

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amelia S. on December 30, 2004
Format: Hardcover
While the text may be lengthy for toddlers (I have a 3-1/2 year old who loves this book, borrowed from the library, that I'm buying him a copy), this is certainly a book that grows with the child. The engaging, simple pictures allow for much imaginative story telling (who ever said parents are supposed to read every word when the child isn't ready?), moving into reading more and more of the text as the child grows older. I trained for a private pilot license, and the details given are simple and factual; just the kind of real stuff that children interested in airplanes would want to know; it's stuff they absorb readily if the subject interests them. I'm glad to see these books back in circulation. The other books in Lois Lenski's series are great, too.

I don't know what the board book is like, but the rating of Baby-Preschool isn't accurate, at least for the 56-page Hard- and Paperback editions. This book is also great for older children who want to know more about the basic mechanics of airplanes and flight.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Marie on June 14, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book was a gift and I originally thought that it was too detailed to be interesting to my 22-month-old son. However, it has a very calming quality and he insists on it every night before bedtime. The adventures move along frequently enough to hold his interest, without being overly stimulating. And he can identify elements he likes from the drawings, such as the propeller, the wind sock, the hangar, and the car on the ground.

His father and I appreciate the accurate details. I'm now on-line looking for other books by Lois Lenski, hoping that they, too, will be a hit for us.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Heath on January 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This book is OK, but it's not a fun story like Cowboy Small, it's a description of the things that happen when a pilot takes a plane out for a flight, mostly about the parts of an airplane. So it's not a very interesting story, although it might be good if your child was interested in learning more about the parts of an airplane. If you're looking for another book like Cowboy Small this is not it.

We bought this for our son because we (and he) love Cowboy Small. Unlike Cowboy Small, which has short text and focuses on various events in a few days of the life of a cowboy, this book has lengthy explanation of avionics stuffed into a non-story about a quick light. If Cowboy Small were written the same way, it would just be about him mounting his horse, riding around for an hour, then putting his horse away and most of the pages would be detail about all the parts of a saddle and what they are for, then a detailed inventory of everything in his saddlebags, including items he never uses in the story. That wouldn't bad bad book for an older kid, but it wouldn't be as much fun as a simple story for a younger kid.
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Format: Hardcover
We introduced our son to this book when he was about 18 mos old, along with some other children's books about airports and flying (preparatory to a cross-country flight.) At first, we read only a few lines of each page -- just enough to set the context -- but he always loved the pictures.

I find the 1940's artwork to have just the right mix of rich color and limited detail to engage a young one's imagination. Personally, I find many of the computer-generated graphics nifty but a little cold and soul-less -- give me human animation from Clement Hurd, Eric Carle, Byron Barton or the like any day....

As our son has grown older (he's 2 1/2 now) we read more of the text. You can tell how much they want to hear of it as you start reading, and adjust your reading accordingly. Our son has always enjoyed this book and will ask for it regularly. I've done some flying in small planes, and the description is right-on -- Lenski definitely did good research for this book! Part of the magic of this book is its ability to place the child right there in the story. My son identifies with Pilot Small and will often say "I'm Pilot Small!" when he's strapping himself into his booster seat or "flying" around the living room in cardboard box.

The book is a classic and I think it's timeless. If you've got a little one who is interested in airplanes, this book is a must-have!
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Format: Hardcover
We introduced this book to our twin sons when they were about 18 months, and within a few readings they could point to the propeller, the rudder, etc., in each of the illustrations. It quickly became a favorite of theirs and has remained so for over a year. Lois Lenski's text is simple but not dumbed-down, so my boys (and I!) learned real information about airplanes and pilots. A few weeks ago, we were traveling by plane to visit my family, and my then 34-month-old son, Walt, saw the pilot approach the gate. Walt said he wanted to ask the pilot a question, so I introduced him. Walt asked, "Does your plane have an aileron?" Captain Rick was totally impressed: "I certainly didn't know French when I was his age," was his reply. Most two year-olds seem to learn dozens of names of useless cartoon characters - why not give them the opportunity to absorb concrete, factual information, and pique their interest in the world around them?
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great little book that my son loves. We bought if after we fell in love with Cowboy Small by Lois Lenski. However, I have found that the books about the characters have very simple text and plots, but the ones about vehicles tend to be VERY detailed. I feel like after reading this book I could fly a 1940's airplane (the same goes for the little sail boat and little train in hard back, I think the text in the board books is a little more basic). My son is almost 3 and sticks with the story and still asks for it every night, but it is not nearly as age appropriately story wise as policeman small, cowboy small, or the smalls.
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