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Wind Flyers Hardcover – January 9, 2007


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 4
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (January 9, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 068984879X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689848797
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 0.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #141,612 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2–4—A child recounts his great-great uncle's lifelong passion for flying-which began at age five with a leap from the roof of a chicken coop and climaxed with wartime flights as one of the Tuskegee Airmen. The man is depicted as a slender figure with distant eyes contemplating the wild blue yonder or, later on, posing with massive-looking, antique aircraft. The slightly misty look of Long's illustrations artfully evokes that sense of remembered times and matches the lyrical tone of Johnson's brief, poetic monologue. "He cried when they landed/because then he knew/what it was like to go/into the wind,/against the wind,/beyond the wind." A final view of the child and his uncle flying off into the "magical wind" in an oversize biplane caps this soaring double tribute to both the Second World War's still-underappreciated African-American pilots and to the profound longing to fly that impelled them.—John Peters, New York Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In spare, poetic lines, a young African American boy introduces his great-great-uncle, who was a Tuskegee airman. His uncle's love for flying begins in boyhood, when he "catches air" in jumps from haylofts and takes his first rides in a "flying barnstormer." Later he becomes a Tuskegee wind flyer and serves in World War II, and his delight in piloting lasts his lifetime. Johnson introduces the history in oblique, pared-down words. Many children will need adult help to place the story in context, and they may want to talk about the story's references to war, including a scene of planes in combat. Long's acrylics beautifully extend the evocative words. Resembling WPA murals in clearly defined, rounded figures and realistic scenes, the artwork shows thrilling expanses of sky and gives a sense, in aerial views, of what it must feel like to touch clouds from an open aircraft. Pair this title with Lynn Homan and Thomas Reilly's The Tuskegee Airmen Story (2002). Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

I have always been a huge fan of the the American School painters of the 1920s and '30s and I was particularly inspired by Thomas Hart Benton and Grant Wood. I am also drawn to the Works Progress Administration (WPA) muralists. Many of these artists were from the Midwest, like me, and I felt a connection to them. They were storytellers.

That's what I like to do - tell stories. When I plan out the illustrations for a book, I pretend I'm making a movie. The words are like a screenplay and I'm choosing which scenes to bring to life.

Before THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD I never viewed myself as someone who would paint trains with eyeballs and cute little purple elephants. I began realizing who my audience is: little children who would actually be holding one of my books. I thought hard about the books I loved from my own childhood. THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD was always one of my favorites, as was THE POKY LITTLE PUPPY, THE STORY OF FERDINAND and Virginia Lee Burton's books. I began thinking about creating books that, like these, might someday become a child's favorite. This is where the idea for OTIS started.

I approach both writing and illustrating enthusiastically. If I'm going to illustrate a manuscript that someone else has written, it's got to be something that I love. I have to love a story enough to do it and make it mine. I hope that doesn't sound overly egotistical. But I feel that the book becomes as much mine as the author's, and as much the author's as mine.

For about a dozen years after getting out of school, I did illustrations for greeting cards, theater posters and magazines. But you never meet your audience when you do a picture for a magazine and it's not really the product - you're just decorating the product. In book publishing, on the other hand, the book is the product. After illustrating my first book, I knew I loved children's publishing right away. I discovered that people cared - teachers, librarians, booksellers and kids. And I got to meet my audience.

This is what I want to do for the rest of my life.

I'm honored that several books that I've illustrated have received awards. Angela Johnson's I DREAM OF TRAINS won the Society of Childrens' Book Writers and Illustrators' Golden Kite Award for picture book illustration. TOY BOAT by Randall DeSeve was awarded the 2007 Publisher's Weekly Cuffie Award for Favorite Picture Book of the Year and the 2008 Great Lakes Book Award for Children's Picture Book. Walt Whitman's WHEN I HEARD THE LEARN'D ASTRONOMER was a Golden Kite Honor Book and also won the 2004 Parents' Choice Gold Award. I've also received two gold medals from the Society of Illustrators.

I live in Cincinnati with my wife and two boys, and two Weimaraners. If you'd like to learn more about my books, you can visit me at www.lorenlong.com.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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The story of the Tuskegee Airmen is an important story for children of all races.
Brent A. Wood
This is my grandson's favorite story of which he can recite the entire book and he has it read almost everyday at least for bedtime.
lynniepooh
The rhythmic, repetitive language in this book makes it perfect for reading out loud.
M. Heiss

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. K. Smith on March 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Lyrically written, beautifully illustrated, the book opens a piece of history with which I was not familiar. Dreams, bi-planes, and fulfillment come together wonderfully here.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on January 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Angela Johnson's WIND FLYERS tells how a boy's love of flight takes him on a journey from Alabama to the war in Europe, telling the story of the Tuskegee Airmen of the second world war. Lovely full-color paintings by Loren Long blend with the story of a boy's early love for flight in this simple introduction to the Tuskegee Airmen's accomplishments.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By T. Woodard on April 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My 4 year old son is addicted to airplanes and flying. He loves this book so much that he has memorized every page in just a few months. Is a very good book for children of all ethnic backgrounds!
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By Justin Brodeur on April 21, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like it because it is a wonderful book about WWII and it is a magical story of flight and dreams
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was a good idea. However, it seemed more like a fantasy story or a long poem. I hope the author revises this story in another edition.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is my grandson's favorite story of which he can recite the entire book and he has it read almost everyday at least for bedtime. At 4 1/2 he loves all things that fly, his favorite being dirigibles. I love that this story tells a true story of the Tuskegee Airmen from World War II. I also love the fact that having raised my 3 children to NOT live a homogenous life, to investigate and seek knowledge everyday, that my son is raising his son to do the same.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's a book that might appeal to the grandchild of a veteran flyer, but there's not much here to catch the imagination of a typical young child other than the pictures..
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By KMc on January 3, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am currently using this book with my students for instruction. It is a vividly visual rendition of a story and era of which all Americans should know. The courage of the wind flyers, i.e., the Tuskegee Airmen, should never be forgotten. Wind Flyers personalizes this story on a level that is accessible for children.
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