First to Fly

by Peter Busby, Paintings by David Craig

Crown Books, March, 2003.
Picture Book, 32 pages.
ISBN: 0375812873
Ages 8 and up

First to Fly by Peter Busby, Paintings by David Craig It's hard to believe that it has been one hundred years since the Wright Brothers made their historic first flight in 1903. As part of the anniversary of this important American achievement, author Peter Busby and painter David Craig have created a beautiful and exciting book which tells the story of the brothers who longed to fly. The book begins with young Orville and Wilbur playing with a toy helicopter which was a present from their father, Bishop Milton Wright. The boys spent hours playing with the toy and figuring out how it worked. The story follows the brothers until they were adults who made bicycles and printing presses, through the gliders that they made to soar in the air without an engine. And then came those "twelve magic seconds" of the Flyer's first manned and powered flight on December 17, 1903, which would change the face of history.

First to Fly is an extraordinary book, with clear prose, vintage photographs, diagrams of the planes and the absolutely stunning paintings by David Craig. Craig's paintings are full of movement and a warm light which evoke the thrill of those first flights. This is a must have for historical buffs and aviation buffs alike -- no matter what their ages.

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This review was published in the April-May, 2003 of The Internet Writing Journal.

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