The Flying Man: The Life of Otto Lilienthal, the World’s First Pilot

Astra. Dec. 2022. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781635925500.
PreS-Gr 4–A picture book biography about German-born Otto Lilienthal and his brother Gustav, who built equipment that was meant to be human-powered and allowed people to soar, not float, through the air. Lovely realistic art shows the boys’ inspiration in storks and other birds, and also conveys the joy of flying. When Otto was 14, he and Gustav began experimenting with different kinds of wings and apparatus. Gustav was badly injured in one attempt and never tried again, but Otto persisted and eventually succeeded in making short flights. Unfortunately, he was badly injured in a crash and did not survive his injuries. However, his work ended up inspiring many other fliers, including the Wright brothers. Readers will marvel at Lilienthal’s perseverance of his dream over the span of his life and the research he did into the flight of birds as it related to his designs.
VERDICT Readers will enjoy learning about a not very well-known designer and inventor of flying machines, making this book a missing link in collections about aviation and flight.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing