Review Blog

May 19 2017

Amazing Australians and their flying machines by Prue Mason and Kerry Mason

cover image

Ill. by Tom Jellett. Walker Books Australia, 2017. ISBN 9781922244635
(Age: 8 - 80) Highly recommended. Prue and Kerry Mason show their passion, insight and love of flying in this truly amazing information book Amazing Australians and Their Flying Machines. From the aeroplane printed endpapers, to the large archival photos, the index presented as a colourful timeline, to the easy to read informative text, this book delivers on every level. The history of ten leading Australian designers and aviators is presented; from Dr William Bland's Atmotic Ship designed in the 1850s, to Ross McPherson Smith's Vickers Vimy plane and the adventures of Bert Hinkler and Nancy Bird Walton. Each double-page spread includes an imagined first-person account, amazing facts, photographs, diagrams and a Did You Know section. The technical details are written in easy to understand terms and there is an update on modern aviation as well. Prue and Kerry Mason bought a vintage plane in 2000 and their love of flying led them to research Australia's aviation history. They even discovered that women were not allowed to fly until 1927 and there were no women airline pilots until 1979.
Tom Jellett's fun illustrations bring the aviators their designs and experiences to life, with their expressive faces showing the highs and lows of flying. The Great Race shows the long journey undertaken by Ross Smith and his crew across the world from London to Darwin. Small humourous scenes show the crew's activities, this includes their final stop sharing a cup of tea in Fanny Bay jail.
This is an extremely well researched, written, designed and presented information book, a fabulous resource for Primary Australian History, Geography and Design and Technology.
Rhyllis Bignell

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