Author: Kristi Grimm
Illustrator: Dave Grimm
Year published: 2012
Number of pages: 28
Recommended age: 3+
Reviewed by: Renee and Dominic (Mother and Son)
Summary (Amazon): Once upon a time, a little plane named Hugh loved to fly and play with the birds from morning until night. But now he is a tired old plane who cannot soar fast in the sky—even when he tries with all his might.
One day as Hugh sits in his hangar feeling sad and alone, a bird perches on his wing and begins to sing. The bird then invites Hugh to fly to the South Pole to help Trevor—a bird who cannot fly. Hugh suddenly realizes he has something to do!
Even though he cannot fly fast anymore, Hugh takes his new friends on an unforgettable ride to the sun, where dreams really do come true.”
1. What is the book about? This book is about a boy who asks his Mommy to tell him a story about a plane. Hugh is a plane who can’t fly fast and he’s sad because he can’t. Then, he meets penguins at the South Pole who can’t fly, so he puts them in the plane and takes them up in the sky.
2. What do you think of the cover and/or the pictures in the book? I liked the pictures and the cover. My favorite pictures are of where Hugh is at the South Pole and he is taking the penguins up in the sky and the one where Hugh is a little boy airplane because he’s cute.
3. What is your favorite part of the book? My favorite part of the book is when Hugh takes the penguins up in the sky. That was a nice thing to do.
4. What is your least favorite part of the book? I liked everything in the story. There wasn’t anything I didn’t like.
5. What did you learn from this book? I learned that everybody has something special that they can do; like, Hugh can fly and penguins can swim. I also learned that it makes you happy doing nice things for others.
6. How did the book make you feel? The book made me feel sad because Hugh couldn’t fly fast and that made him sad. Then when he took the penguins up to fly, that made him happy, so then that made me happy too.
7. Who do you think would like this book? This book was cute and I liked it. I would recommend it to boys and girls at least 7 years and younger.
Son Rating: ★★★★½
Son Rating: ★★★★½
My Thoughts: Kristi Grimm has created a heartwarming series of picture books (illustrated by husband, Dave Grimm) based on her real-life son, Dillon who would often ask “Mommy, Tell Me a Story About …” On the spot, Mom had to come up with a story which had to include concepts randomly thrown out by her son. In the case of Mommy Tell Me a Story About a Plane, Mom had to come up with a story that incorporated “a plane; one that swoops and soars even in rain” and “penguins or whales, like in those fairy tales”. Hopefully Kristi didn’t have to create the story in rhyming verses like she had to in this book!
In Mommy, Tell Me a Story About a Plane, we are introduced to Hugh, an elderly (“close to 82”) airplane who feels he can no longer fly fast and who sits around reminiscing about his youth. One day, a concerned bird stops by and tells a sad Hugh about a bird that cannot fly whatsoever. Hugh heads over to the South Pole and meets penguins for the first time. Both Hugh and the penguins are equally surprised at each other; the penguins who are surprised that Hugh can’t swim and Hugh who wonders why there are birds that can’t fly. Hugh learns that it’s not important how fast he flies, but that he can find happiness by helping others.
There are important life lessons as well as several themes covered in this book. On one level, there is an important message about aging. As we age, we are not necessarily as fast, coordinated, or strong as we were in our youth, but it does not mean that we should stop doing the things we enjoy the most. When I was in my twenties, I could jump and reach a foot over a volleyball net. Now, I strive to jump a foot off the ground! lol Do I still love to play volleyball? Yes!
Interestingly, my son did not pick up on that message until I brought it up. Instead, what he got from reading the book is about doing something nice for others and that real pleasure comes from giving oneself to help others around you. This is one of the other important themes in the book.
The illustrations in the book are plentiful, colourful, and very kid-friendly. Amazingly, Hugh is depicted as both an “older” airplane and a “younger” airplane. I didn’t think it was possible to get the feel for age and mood with an airplane, but this is captured so well by Dave Grimm. Each illustration is matched to a rhyming verse and follows the story very closely. A child would delight in just flipping through the pages of the book looking at the pictures.
My bottom line: The Mommy, Tell Me a Story About… picture book series is just wonderful. I love the concept, the stories, the illustrations, and the underlying messages in the individual books. I would highly recommend them to children aged 3+. These are the three books in the series with a fourth coming in the Summer of 2013 (see below):
Mom Rating: ★★★★½
Mom Rating: ★★★★½
* Mommy, Tell Us a Story About a Plane was provided to us by the author free-of-charge in exchange for our honest review.*
About the Author:
I am the author of a children’s book series called Mommy, Tell Me a Story…. My blog gives you updates on the books, allows you purchase them online, or just learn a little bit about my family and myself. My husband is my illustrator and my son is featured in all my books so it is definitely a family affair. I have been a paraplegic for 26 yrs so I tend to look at the world a little differently than some. Mostly I have learned to be thankful for everything and never take anything for granted. Life is so much more enjoyable when you spend your time focusing on what you can do rather than on what you can’t. Always keep in mind that a great deal in life is much funnier than you might want to admit so make sure to laugh or smile as much possible. These are the things I like to write about and like to share on my blog.