Sunday, September 27, 2015

Miss Todd and Her Wonderful Flying Machine by Frances Poletti and Kristina Yee

I often forget the story behind a simple-seeming picture book. I sure did with this book....until I wrote this blog entry. Ahem, please forgive my cluelessness.

I love unique illustrations and so do my students. This book is a series of paper cuts and drawings that help frame a sweet and intense students and I were simply bound with the book as I read it to them. But today I discovered so much more about this story. Like the movie from which the book came won a long list of international awards, including a Student Academy Award.  The illustrations that we were so captured by: those are actually paper-cut out puppets in a model set, clips actually from the movie itself. Find the movie here: The brown-tinted set captured my imagination in amazing ways. 

Happiest when her feet were not touching the ground, Lily grew up trying to create flying machines to satisfy her great passion for moving in the air. A brilliant and endless dreamer, her dreams were not at all dashed by the extreme and limiting behaviors and norms for women around the turn of the century. The story centers on the real Miss Lily Todd becoming the first female in the world to build and design an airplane amid all sorts of trials of the times. 

The story in book form is uplifting and inspiring from true story of the original Miss Lily Todd to the true story of the movie craft and execution. Brilliant. And for those of you wondering, I do intend to share the movie with my students. Very soon!

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