Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Lindbergh: The Tale of a Flying Mouse

Kuhlmann, Torben (Author/Illustrator)
NorthSouth Books 2014. 92 pages
First published: 2014
ISBN: 9780735841673 (hardcover)
Original language: German
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, point of view

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

This animal tale of creative thinking, persistence and adventure explores the fascinating world of early aviation inventors, from the perspective of a little mouse who dreams of leaving mousetrap-infested Hamburg, Germany, to live in America. Hungry mousers make emigration ports too dangerous, but an encounter with bats inspires a bright idea.

Imagination and engineering are vaunted in this ingenious book, illustrated with artwork that weaves sketches, gorgeous watercolour effects and skilled photorealism. One double-page spread showcases the mouse’s mechanical drawings in the background, as a wondrous flying contraption (made with an old flip-top lighter) is depicted. In the corner, the little mouse seems to dance on hind legs with the effort of keeping the machine under control using a tightly wound thread.

A horde of owls maintain pressure and suspense, as the mouse finally develops a—theoretically— functional machine. The bravery of early aviation pioneers is emphasized as he launches his virgin flight across the Atlantic: “The plane gained altitude and soared up through the clouds. The bell tower, which had seemed so gigantic, was now a mere pin poking through the fog.” Wordless images show magnificent vistas over land and sea, and a safe landing for the mouse, as American mice crowd around his magnificent flying machine. Fully illustrated back material provides a brief history of early aviation attempts (by humans).

  •  

    Look over the book cover and endpapers. Share what you know about this topic in a class mind map.

  •  

    Notice the unique crafting choices by the author-illustrator that give the feel of an old book, written long ago. As a group, discuss the impact that these features have on the reader.

  •  

    Research the history of Charles Lindbergh on a teacher-selected website or in a book. Compare the stories of Lindbergh the mouse and Lindbergh the aviator. 

  •  Using this as a model text, choose an event from history and rewrite it as an animal adventure.
  •  

    Look over the book cover and endpapers. Share what you know about this topic in a class mind map.

  •  

    On a picture walk, discuss the characters, settings and art. Find elements of technology and engineering inventions. Look up these words and make a class list to help learn them. Make predictions about the story.

  •  

    After the story is read aloud, discuss how the perseverance of the main character helped him achieve his goal. Make a timeline of the mouse’s adventure.

  •  

    Research the history of Charles Lindbergh on a teacher-selected website or in a book. Compare the stories of Lindbergh the mouse and Lindbergh the aviator.

  •  

    Make paper airplanes and hold a competition to see which goes furthest. Research ways to improve your model and try again. Report on your experiment.

  • To use creativity
  • To use information
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Geography, History and Citizenship
  • Science and Technology