cover image Jumbo: The Making of the Boeing 747

Jumbo: The Making of the Boeing 747

Chris Gall. Roaring Brook, $19.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-250-15580-1

Between its first flight in 1970 and its last in 2018, the Boeing 747 “transported the equivalent of 78 percent of the world’s population.” It’s an incredible statistic, but a fraught legacy given the realities of climate change. Gall avoids any discussion of the 747’s ecological consequences, centering instead the engineering challenge Boeing faced in designing the world’s largest passenger plane, then building it in just 28 months per the demands of Pan American Airlines. Incisive explanations of concepts such as gravity, lift, drag, and thrust; turbojets; the design process; and plane construction (“over 4.5 million pieces in a 747!”) shine alongside lucid, highly detailed realistic color illustrations and schematics peppered with plane parts, cross-sections, and relatable images, such as a girl braking a bike to depict hydraulics. Gall’s attention to detail dazzles, but the institutional-feeling narrative never quite soars. Includes “Fun Facts,” a glossary, and an author’s note about building a plane. Ages 5–8. (Aug.)