Monday, October 8, 2012

 Title: The Fabulous Flying Machines of Alberto Santos-Dumont
Author: Victoria Griffith
Illustrator: Eva Montanari
Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: 2011
Genre/Format: Picture Book/Biography
Classification: Nonfiction

 Alberto Santos-Dumont, born in Brazil and raised in Paris, France, loves to fly. In the early 1900’s you could look up in the sky and you might see him flying his dirigible, his personal flying machine, from one errand to another as he moves about the city. Although he loves flying in his dirgible, Santos-Dumont wants to move faster and fly longer distances. In 1906, three years after the Wright brothers first flew at Kitty Hawk, he becomes the first person in Europe to take and lnad a completely self-propelled airplane.

Personal thoughts: I fell in love with this book by accident. I was at my local library looking at for another book when I chanced to hear the children's librarian book talk the book to a group of elementary students. After the book talk, I asked the librarian if I could take a look at the book. Well the rest is history because I checked out the book from the library. (I've since purchased my own copy.) The endnotes add rich details and facts about this adventurous man. An excellent read-aloud story. Dreamy pictures. Wonderful end notes and bibliography.

Read Together: Grades 1-3
Read Without Help: Grades 3-12
Read With: The Wright Brothers: How They Invented the Ariplane, by Russell  Freedman; Amelia Earhart: The Lost Aviator, by Shelely Tanaka

Snippet of Text:
Alberto Santos-Dumont loved floating over Paris in his own personal flying machine. It had helped make him one of the most famous men in the city, if not the world! Everyone, he thought, should have this much fun running a simple errand. (Unnumbered page)

For a moment, it seemed the airplane would come back down to Earth with a thud. Instead, it pushed into the sky until it was soaring over the heads of the spectators. Higher and higher it went. Alberto turned around in the air and headed back. (Unnumbered page)

Connections to Expository Writing—(1) You are going on a trip to Paris, France. Research your destination and create a list poem of all the places you might visit. (2)  Create an obituary for Alberto Santos-Dumont.
Connections to Narrative Writing—(1) Create a journal entry from the point of view of Alberto Santos-Dumont as he is thinking about his first self-propelled flight. (2) In this story, Alberto and Louis Cartier are best friends. Write about a time in your life in your life when you and your best friend did something  fun.

 Connections to Content Area: Social Studies, Science
Topics Covered: Dirigibles, Airplanes, Cartier, Wright Brothers, Flying, Wrist Watch
Translated to Other Languages: No
Other Formats: CD; Audio Cassette

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