Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday - The Pilot and the Little Prince

by Peter Sís
Farrar, Straus, & Giroux (May 27, 2014)
Nonfiction * Biographical * Aviation 

Description from GoodReads:
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was born in France in 1900, when airplanes were just being invented. Antoine dreamed of flying and grew up to be a pilot—and that was when his adventures began. He found a job delivering mail by plane, which had never been done before. He and his fellow pilots traveled to faraway places and discovered new ways of getting from one place to the next. Antoine flew over mountains and deserts. He battled winds and storms. He tried to break aviation records, and sometimes he even crashed. From his plane, Antoine looked down on the earth and was inspired to write about his life and his pilot-hero friends in memoirs and in fiction. Peter Sís’s remarkable biography celebrates the author of The Little Prince, one of the most beloved books in the world.

Image from The Pilot and the Little Prince

Reviews: Kirkus | Publisher's Weekly | Hornbook |

Links to interesting pages: NPR Interview of Peter Sís |  

About the Author: Peter Sís is the internationally renowned author and/or illustrator of many books for children. He is the recipient of the 2012 Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration and has also been awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. He has lived in and around New York City since 1984.

Where to find Peter Sís: website | facebook

My thoughts on the book:
A couple of weeks ago, I picked up The Pilot and the Little Prince.  I have been a fan of Peter Sís for awhile and when I saw that this was coming out I knew I had to have it.  Finally, I had a chance to sit down and spend some time pouring over this beautifully illustrated book.  And when I say pouring over this book, I do mean spend time with it.  This is not a book that you read once.  Though the narrative story text is fairly simple, there is much more to process.

Image from The Pilot and the Little Prince

The story is laid out in multiple ways - readers can simply begin with the straight narrative text that tells the life of Antoine de Saint-Exupery.  Additionally, the illustrations provide readers with another level of visual literacy that can and should be read.  Finally, there are illustrations with scripted text, which provides another layer.  Though I do have to say that the small font was a bit difficult for me to read with ease. If I were to ask for one addition to the book, it would be for back matter (author's note, additional reading, links, or other things) to be included at the end of the book.

Overall, this is a beautiful picture book biography for children in Kindergarten to Third grade.  It would make a lovely addition to a classroom or school library. 

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