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. National Air and Space Museum educator Tim Grove, meanwhile, explains why hot-air balloons, cardboard boxes, and even Star Trek’s USS Enterprise were all Milestones of Flight (Abrams, $21.95). Ages 10-14.
Inspired by her favorite rhyme, Lola Plants a Garden (Charlesbridge, $15.95) with the help of her mother. After the seeds are all in the ground, Lola makes a string of bells and shells to adorn the garden, and even a quite contrary “Mary Mary” doll. When the flowers have pushed their way into the air and opened to the sun, Lola is finally able to share her creation with her friends. Author Anna McQuinn and illustrator Rosalind Beardshaw collaborate again for the latest in their series about enthusiastic Lola, just in time for the season of planting and growing. Ages 3-6. Allison Witten
Grasshopper, a one-insect band, wants to relax the whole year. Even though the ants won’t join him in idleness, The Grasshopper & the Ants (Little, Brown, $18) coexist side by side, content to play and work on their own. Grasshopper passes spring, summer, and fall in bliss, but when winter arrives and the ants disappear into their tunnels, he soon realizes the mistake he’s made. Luckily, Grasshopper isn’t alone in the snow for long. The queen invites him in for tea, and he regales her colony with a song. Jerry Pinkney reimagines another of Aesop’s fables in gorgeous detail, twisting the tale to be about kindness and friendship. Ages 3-7. Allison Witten