Flight has always fascinated mankind; we’ve looked at birds with envy for millennia, but it wasn’t until recently that we managed to turn our desire to fly into reality. Two new books help explain how we got there in captivating histories of humanity’s quest for flight. After reading Rowland White’s “ultimate book of flight,” the simple phrase Cleared for Takeoff (Chronicle, $21.99) will always contain a little bit of magic.
Every page of See You Next Year (Owlkids, $16.95) is filled with the sweetness of childhood summer vacations. Author Andrew Larsen relates a familiar, nostalgic story: a girl makes friends with her neighbor at the beach-front motel and together they take in a week of ocean fun: digging in the sand until they hit water, learning to dive into crashing waves, listening to evening concerts on the beach. It’s almost unbelievable that the pitch-perfect blues and golds are illustrator Todd Stewart’s first foray into children’s literature. Leaf through this book and you’ll see why we hope he’s here to stay. Ages 3-7. Sharat Buddhavarapu
When you wake up to the moon—or something that looks like it, anyway—sitting on your branch, what are you to do? If you’re Mr. Squirrel, you assume a thief tried to steal the moon, failed, and is trying to pass the blame on to you. Sebastian Meschenmoser’s Mr. Squirrel and the Moon (NorthSouth, $18.95) is the slapstick comedy that results when Mr. Squirrel and his friends, Hedgehog and Goat, try to get rid of the evidence. The detailed pencil illustrations provide an engaging counterpoint to the antics of the easily confused, and extremely imaginative, woodland creatures. Ages 5-8. Sharat Buddhavarapu