Flight 1-2-3

illus. by author. 40p. Chronicle. 2013. RTE $14.99. ISBN 978-1-45211-6624.
K-Gr 2—Families might want to familiarize themselves with these universal symbols before they head to an airport. Beginning with the image of a plane along the highway pointing the way, van Lieshout asks children to spot and count such things as luggage carts, check-in desks, escalators, restroom signs, and seat belts. Readers will be surprised at how many images they can find. All of these symbols are in the margins of the pages and the actions that the symbols represent are boldly illustrated in bright primary colors in the same graphic style. Information is given in the end pages about the creation of the typeface in 1968 that we all recognize today. This book can be used as a companion to a seek-and-find activity. This useful guide will engage children and create an enjoyable visit to an airport.—Diane Antezzo, Ridgefield Library, CT
A counting book, an airport primer, an introduction to international sign­age, and a simple travel story -- van Lieshout's book packs a lot into its cleanly designed pages. Each spread features a numeral (from one to ten, then one hundred and up), a common pictogram, and one or two words interpreting the image: e.g., "Check-in desk"; "Security officers." The crisp illustrations mimic travel signs' unadorned graphics; the easy-to-decode typeface (Frutiger) is used "on airport signage all over the world." As the pages progress, a boy and his parents arrive at "1 Airport"; check in at one of "3 Check-in desks"; dispose of prohibited items in one of "5 Trash cans"; and go through security. The scenes are plainly rendered in flat blocks of blue, yellow, black, and gray with touches of red, yet are detailed enough to hold readers' attention. The family's fellow travelers are featureless men and women (think airport bathroom signs); the main characters, while well differentiated, are far from embellished. After "10 Gates" and "100 Fastened seat belts," the concepts get a bit more complex (distance, altitude), but van Lieshout brings us safely back to earth for "One happy meeting" at journey's end. Make room in your carry-on for this book, perfect for pre- and in-flight entertainment for frequent and fledgling fliers alike. kitty flynn

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