cover image On This Airplane

On This Airplane

Lourdes Heuer, illus. by Sara Palacios. Tundra, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7352-6860-9

A family of four embarks on an airplane journey from a seaside location; as they do, Heurer (Esme’s Birthday Conga Line), employing playful, rhythmic text, muses about the people on board. The family’s school-age child gazes into the cockpit, where a pilot is “living her dream” as passengers of varying ages, body types, skin tones, and groupings board. Each person has their own travel strategy—some read, some snooze, some schmooze—but a patch of turbulence (“Up, down. Up, down./ Drinks drip drop./ Tummies flip flop”) briefly forges an affable community among the strangers, who lend “an earbud... an ear.” Then the plane lands, and everyone heads off to their own destination—including the central family, which seems to have arrived at a new home. Digitally finished gouache and cut paper drawings by Palacios (I’ll Go and Come Back) are filled with personality (readers should get a kick out of spotting how the characters behave and connect) and compositions that revel in the cabin’s spaces, including the precious sliver of air between seats. Air travel may not always be glamorous, but the creators’ affection for it is evident and affirming in this book that makes the journey the primary story. Ages 3–7. Author’s agent: Kelly Sonnack, Andrea Brown Literary. Illustrator’s agents: Minju Chang and Kendra Marcus, BookStop Literary. (Oct.)