written by Susanna Leonard Hill
illustrated by Ana Martin Larranaga
Take a ride on an airplane with Captain Bright and Copilot Snow. Open and close the wing flaps, help the ground crew direct the plane, make the airplane take off, and watch the radar screen for any sign of trouble! It’s an exciting flight and every page has something fun to do!
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The title says it all. This is one of Hill and Larranaga’s series of sculpted-edged, transportation-themed board books. It takes its ninety-seven freight cars full of animals, toys, fruit, and lumber safely from an eastern railroad yard cross-country to its final western destination. Along its route, the engine must stop for a crossing gate and barely avoids a head-on crash when Switchman Jack almost forgets to switch tracks for a passenger train, but all is well that ends well. The flaps are absolutely basic paper engineering, but manage to hide a few surprises, while the softly rounded forms of Larranaga’s politically-correct mixture of little people are comforting. Meanwhile, Hill’s rhymed text chugs the train forward. Alas, the red caboose no longer exists in modern railroading, so for that old homey feeling toddlers will have to make do with the girl engineer’s ginger cat.