Book: Everything Goes: In the Air
Author: Brian Biggs
Age Range: 3 to 8
Everything Goes: In the Air by Brian Biggs is a Richard Scary-esque book about a visit to the airport, and all things sky-worthy. There's a nominal storyline in which a family (parents and son) head to the airport, park, go through security, etc., all the way through to just after takeoff. The pages showing the family inside the airport are busy and full of amusing details. These are interspersed with more informational pages about different kinds of airplanes, and other things that fly. In all cases, information is conveyed through labels, text boxes, and dialog bubbles.
My three year old daughter and I prefer the pages about the family going through the airport, though I can imagine that slightly older kids would also enjoy the factual information about planes and blimps and whatnot. The airport pages include a running gag about a mother with five babies, all of whom run away, and have to be tracked down, page by page, in all sorts of predicaments. As an adult reader, the lines "Oh my, all five of my babies have crawled away. Can someone help me find them?!" are pretty funny. But for kids, it's the search for the babies that is rewarding.
There's other humor, too, of course. On the page depicting the security screening lines, the reader finds: a robot not sure how to go through a metal detector; a man who mistakenly strips down to his underwear (instead of just taking off his shoes); a pirate wanting to go through with a sword; and lots more. Much of this humor is over the head of a three-year-old reader, but I think that five and six-year-olds will have a lot of fun with this book.
Even the more fact-based pages include some humor, like the text of the label "stunt plane" being written upside down, and a news helicopter completely failing to notice a superhero standing on top of a building.
Everything Goes: In the Air is a book better suited to being pored over by kindergarteners than to be read aloud, since it's all text boxes, rather than narrative text. But my daughter loves for me to read it aloud to her anyway, as she searches the pictures for familiar elements. Biggs' illustrations are not as detailed as Richard Scarry's, nor as quirky as Bob Staake's, but they are bright and engaging.
This book arrived with two companion board books: Everything Goes 1 2 3 Beep Beep Beep (A Counting Book) and Everything Goes Stop! Go! (A Book of Opposites). These are aimed more at younger kids, and are less detailed, but Biggs manages to sneak in a few entertaining tidbits.
I haven't read Everything Goes on Land, but I'm content to recommend this entire series for library purchase, as well as for home use for kids who like seek and find type books. Brian Biggs manages a nice balance of education and entertainment in these books, which are particularly boy-friendly. Everything Goes: In the Air would make a great gift for any young child about to embark on a first airplane trip.
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (@HarperChildrens)
Publication Date: September 18, 2012
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher
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