Take a Flight by Peter Kent
|Take a Flight by Peter Kent|
|Genre: Children's Non-Fiction|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: An educational way to keep children occupied and interested on a journey - or to use at home in preparation for a flight. The text is short and to the point with the illustrations wonderfully detailed. Recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 40||Date: July 2008|
Bored children in airport terminals and on planes are a frustration to themselves, their parents and other passengers. There's a lot going on around them, but running off and exploring isn't sensible for lots of reasons but being told to sit down and read a book seems almost cruel. Peter Kent has come up with the ideal solution: a book about the environment in which children find themselves which will allow them to understand more about what's happening in a safe and interactive way.
The book opens with the arrival at the airport. There's an aerial view of the terminal, the runway, control tower, car park and even the fire station. The book doesn't suggest that there are risks associated with flying but does include information on the safety demonstration and even shows an old plane on which firemen can practice. It's even stressed that the two pilots must both eat different meals. Armed men do appear in various pictures as part of the security procedures.
The book can be used either at home or on a flight. There's an activity on each page with some being designed specifically for the journey (Can you see any planes with four engines?) and others are for use at home, although there's no reason why they shouldn't be used on the journey too. There are some very good illustrations of the check-in procedure, taking us through it step by step, with the home-based activity being Explain what you see happening. The activities are varied and designed to get children looking about them (or at the pictures) and making sense of what they see.
There's plenty of information – the number of flight crew on a plane, the names of all the machines that you'll see at the airport and even what happens when you flush the toilet. Several adults who've seen this book have been fascinated by what happens in the bits of the plane that you don't see and a couple were very interested in those rather worrying things which seem to happen to the wings when you take off and land!
The book goes right through to leaving the airport at the end of the journey. The text in the book is short and to the point with most of the information being conveyed in the illustrations, which I found fascinating. They're very detailed and there are plenty of opportunities for discussion of what's shown or for finding something similar if you're on a journey. The book is aimed at the six plus age group but I think that even a five year old would enjoy the pictures and could benefit from sharing the book with an adult.
It's a book which could well repay its cover price on one journey and also one where a second reading will show points missed on the first reading. Recommended.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.
For children interested in how things work, The Human Machine by Richard Walker has proved a great hit with my six to ten year old grandchildren. If you're just gearing up for the school holidays then we can recommend 101 Things You Wish You'd Invented and Some You Wish No One Had by Richard Horne and Tracey Turner.
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