Cover image for The flyers
The flyers
Drummond, Allan.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
In 1903, a group of children on the beach at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, dream of flying and witness the first flight of the Wright brothers. Includes a chronology of milestones in the history of flight.
General Note:
"Frances Foster books."
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.4 0.5 73944.
Electronic Access:
Publisher description
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



Just in time for the 2003 centennial of the Wright brothers' historic flight The arrival of Orville and Wilbur Wright in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, with their "crazy kite" of an airplane inspires five local kids to envision their own flying machines, from sky buses that could carry hundreds of people around the world to an unbelievable machine that could go to the moon! Following each step leading up to Orville Wright's first history-making, twelve-second flight on December 17, 1903, the children take flights of their own, letting the ocean breeze catch their coattails as they dash across the dunes. This whimsical tale comes to life with charming prose and airy watercolors, accompanied by a pictorial time line. The author's tribute to the most wonderful flights of all -- those of the imagination -- lets us soar like the Wright brothers.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

PreS-Gr. 2. As the Wright brothers carry on their experiments at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, five local children observe the men, play, and dream. One of the boys serves as narrator, relating what the children see and what they talk about among themselves. Jamie imagines taking a friend up for a ride in a flyer; the narrator extends this vision into a flying bus; Josie plans a flight to explore Africa; Davey thinks of dropping rocks from a flying war machine ; little Henry sees himself flying to the moon, a dream so ludicrous that everyone laughs. Light, airy ink drawings, tinted with delicate washes, picture the children's flights of fancy, comfortably coexisting with historical scenes of the brothers' work at Kitty Hawk. The final double-page spread offers a visual time line from the Wrights' 1903 flight to the 1969 moon walk. Many books on the Wright brothers have appeared recently, but few offer such a child-centered perspective of the men and their work. This will make a lively companion to more traditional books on the first controlled powered flight. --Carolyn Phelan Copyright 2003 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

It's 1903, and five children in Kitty Hawk, N.C., have a front-row seat as the Wright Brothers prepare for the first sustained self-powered flight. The aviation pioneers' work inspires each child to muse on the way he or she would make use of the seemingly magical ability to soar into the sky. Josie dreams of flying across the ocean, Davey wants to attack his foes in a winged war machine, Jamie conjures up the spitting image of a commercial airliner, and so on. Drummond's (Liberty!) visual signature-a lighter-than-air ink line and puffs of translucent watercolor-perfectly match the subject matter. His plentiful vignettes and large-scale illustrations capture both the effervescence of the children's daydreams and the determined intensity of Wilbur and Orville's preparations-which, of course, represent the fulfillment of their own dreams. Drummond applies his light touch to the text as well, narrating the historic lift-off with the elemental enthusiasm of a child: "And then the Flyer moved down into the wind, its engine roared, and the whole machine took off! Orville was at the controls and it really flew!" At the same time, he succinctly encapsulates the brothers' achievements (e.g., the narrator points out that the Wrights need "to make a flying machine that they can take off in, land, control, and steer"). Among the many books issued to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the flight at Kitty Hawk, this one stands out for its ability to harness the imagination of youngest readers and make it soar. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-This look at the Wright brothers' inaugural flight never gets off the ground. As Orville and Wilbur "fly their crazy kites," a young narrator and his friends also try to fly, scooting along the sand dunes of Kitty Hawk, arms flapping amid Drummond's pen-and-wash whorls and swirls, suggestive of the prevailing winds of the Outer Banks. The children provide the dialogue and asides to move the story along. They have the facts straight, and the Wrights are pictured in their usual, carefully knotted neckties and stiff collars along with their Flyer, the first airplane capable of powered sustained flight. Unfortunately, the youngsters also prattle on about what type of aircraft they would like to one day operate, and modern conveyances in sprightly pastels begin to sail across the pages. The images projected are right in step with today's youth, but less likely (even in the imagination) to occur to a child of 1903. The juxtaposition is slightly jarring. One boy imagines dropping "rocks and water bombs" on his young enemies. With a nod to political correctness, another youngster, the only girl and person of color, imagines flying to Africa to "scare the elephants and monkeys." The final spread briefly outlines aviation firsts; these highlights are a bit spotty and not exactly arranged in clear chronological order. Wendie Old's To Fly (Clarion, 2002) is head and shoulders above this slight, unfocused fare.-Harriett Fargnoli, Great Neck Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.