In which Annie (high school teacher, mother of two young girls and a younger boy) and her aunt Deborah (children's bookseller, mother of two young women in their 20s) discuss children's books and come up with annotated lists.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Lifting flaps at the airport

Dear Aunt Debbie,

I hope you and Bob are having a lovely time, and that it's not too rainy to enjoy your southern jaunt.

Our spring break trip to Florida provided us with an opportunity to enjoy one of your recent gifts in more depth.  Both before flying down and after we returned, the girls spent a lot of time on the floor with Usborne Flip Flap Airport ("with over 60 flaps to lift and other exciting surprises").

What I like about this book, and assume may be true of the other titles in the Usborne Flip Flap series, is the combination of specific, factual information about various aspects of airport functioning and the good-natured sense of humor present in the drawings.  On the "Preparing the Plane" page, you learn that "the plane is cleaned with water jets," that "This tow truck will pull the plane away from its parking spot," and that a truck with a big hose empties the toilet tank of a plane as the passengers exit.  Look a little closer, and you'll notice that the man standing next to the toilet truck is holding his nose, and that one of the baggage handlers has picked up a fallen bag and is running after a baggage truck: "Hey!"

All noises are accounted for: vehicles proclaim "beep beep!" or "toot toot!"; pigeons say "cheep cheep!"  The flaps themselves are fun, but the level of detail aside from the flaps is also terrific.  The book consists of 7 double-page spreads -- no narrative, but a movement from morning to night, from departure to arrival, with several pages of functional information in between. 

My only quibble with the book is its weight.  This is a large board book (roughly 9 1/2 by 11 inches, which is why my scanned image is cut off), with all the bells and whistles, it's too heavy to be something you'd want to lug with you on a trip, say, to the airport.  Not vacation reading.  For pre- and post-, however, it's an excellent choice.

Love, Annie

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