by Robert Burleigh, illus. by Wendell Minor
Simon & Schuster, 2011
This beautifully illustrated book (gouache and watercolor) provides an account of Earhart's stormy 1932 flight across the Atlantic ocean. In the night pictures, you see a full moon and the gorgeous blues of the sky, and the vastness of crossing the ocean is very apparent. When the storm hits, lightning splits the sky, and then in the morning, as dawn breaks, "splinters of sunlight stab down through cloud slits and brace themselves on the vault of the open sea," and you see the golden hues of the rising sun. This is a perfect example of the text and pictures of this book melding completely and perfectly.
It's a shorter book, and, perhaps because of that, I'm even more appreciative of the afterword, bibliography, list of internet resources and quotes by Earhart included at the end. There is also a technical note by the illustrator, Wendell Minor, about the exhaust system on this plane of Earhart's. It was replaced when the little red plane was donated to the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. (It was later gifted to the National Air & Space Museum.) Minor writes that on the sketch of the plane on the end papers, he included both exhaust systems, but that the replacement version was used in the paintings since that is what will be familiar to museum visitors. Would anyone have noticed this? I don't know, but the book scores huge points with me for mentioning this.