Kermit Weeks The Author of
The Spirit of Lindy
The Spirit of Lindy
Author: Kermit Weeks
Book Review by: JR Hafer, aviation writer
A new book written by Kermit Weeks entitled “The Spirit of Lindy” and published by KWIP Publishing, LLC has found its way beside a famous award winning predecessor “All of life is a school”, Mr. Weeks’ first children’s book, which won the Independent publishers book award in 2008.
Kermit Weeks is a noted international aviator and beloved “Living Legend” who possesses the world’s largest private collection of functional aircraft. Often Kermit Weeks has stated his desire to share his journey with others. He believes that all of life is a school where we continue to learn. Kermit Weeks is the creator and founder of Fantasy of Flight, a place open to the public where one can go to view and learn about aircraft and history of 20th century aviation. His passion for flight and learning is incorporated in the mission statement etched in the wall at Fantasy of Flight and also on the dust cover of “The Spirit of Lindy”.
I personally have not had the opportunity to read Mr. Weeks’ first children’s book “All of life is a school” therefore, I had nothing to compare it to and no idea what to expect. Perhaps I will get the chance to read the first one sometime in the future. I’ve never been impressed with many other children’s books simply because they’re generally void of real memorable and substantial learning content. With that being said, now I am truly glad I was asked to review this one!
Certainly, when Kermit Weeks does anything, he does it “First Class”! It is a no brainer to understand that when writing a children’s book one must first get a child’s attention. The Spirit of Lindy does that from the start with bright, colorful, and wonderfully-skilled art work. Each page has a story within itself and if you examine it very closely, you can find little treasures hidden, like a game. That will keep the kiddies interested and coming back for more. That is a stroke of genius! And that’s all before one get to the story. By this time the kids are begging to read the story or have Mom or Dad read it to them…
The storyline is obvious: The Spirit of Lindy is based upon Charles A. Lindbergh’s prize-winning non-stop solo flight from New York to Paris in May 1927. The 3600 mile flight from Long Island New York to Paris in a Ryan-built metal monoplane the Spirit of St. Louis took 33.5 hours and won Lindbergh his place in history and the storyline for Kermit Weeks’ second book.
Kermit Weeks must be applauded for his authentic, substantive, factual content in this book. The dates are correct. I must smile at the play on words, however, Roosevelt Field absolutely should be “Rosie-Velt AirField” in a children’s book, what else could it be? Additionally, the avgas must only be I.D.CLAIR aviation gasoline, what else could it be right?
The storyline followed the history books to the letter. Even the weather conditions were authentic.
All the characters in this book were absolutely adorable and unique to Kermit and Fantasy of Flight and his children’s book series. I can see why it took two years to write this book, it is very well-thought-out. From the signage on the walls, to the shadow of the owner in the window, looking out as a parent would at the children. That is an appealing touch that one might miss unless you are a child really engrossed in the book.
When you open the book you see Geoffrey D.H., the mail plane panting and puffing across the bright beautiful blue sky excited and approaching, landing and bringing news to the Fantasy of Flight airfield of the $25,000 Orteig prize for the first to fly across the Atlantic between New York and Paris and enthusiasm bursts out all over the airfield.
Curtiss, Benny, Missy, Zee, Puff, Geoffrey D.H. and the other characters all start discussing what a wonderful adventure this would be. They call a meeting of all the machinery, tools and airplanes around the airfield and formulate a plan. I believe, all the airplane characters are modeled after actual aircraft owned by Mr. Weeks with the exception of Lindy.
The planning included: How big the plane must be, finding New York and Paris on the world map, how far it was from Roosevelt Field Long Island, New York to Le Bourget Airport at Paris, France, how much fuel it would take, how long it would take? Questions the characters had to find out for their task. These can also be learning opportunities for readers of the book. These are discussion questions parents and children can have together. There are more questions on the back cover of the book for family participation too.
The plan came together and the characters in the book decide they would build a winning plane to enter in the trans-Atlantic solo flight. The book is a learning adventure story for youngsters on how to work together to accomplish a task and win the prize. Just like in real life the characters in the book first ask the authority figure (the owner of the airfield) permission to build the airplane. Then they had to make a plan and must follow that plan to accomplish their task in an organized manner following instructions with organization and cooperation helping each other.
All the characters work together to create another character who wins the prize and the glory through team work. Through Lindy’s adventure many lessons are learned that children can apply these same lessons their own lives and benefit from them for a lifetime. I am guessing that is “The Spirit of Lindy”…
I can honestly say that this is a book every parent with a child under the age of seven should have and read. This is a book a parent should read to their child over and over again and have conversation about. The authenticity of this book is grand, down to the actual aircraft registration number on “Lindy” and the name of the builder “Ryan” on the vertical stabilizer. The history is factual and this book doesn’t waver from correctness, with the exception of a few “play on words” as mentioned above for smiles. This book has a lot of substance!
“The Spirit of Lindy” is a book that is not condescending and talks to the children like they have dignity and a level of intelligence which they can rise to, rather than assuming they cannot understand concepts. In this writer’s opinion, every early educational institution in America should have this book in every classroom. This book is just that good!
I can, in all sincerity, enthusiastically recommend this book.
(For information to purchase The Spirit of Lindy) www.fantasyofflight.com
JR Hafer, aviation book reviews
“Kermit Weeks has the largest privately owned aircraft collection in the world. Mr. weeks is a national aerobatics champion, a “Living Legend” and recipient of many national and international awards and known around the world as a prolific aviator. He is the creator and Founder of Fantasy of Flight, which is a place where you can go to experience a journey into an aviation world of knowledge and aviation history. This is a place where one can experience a soul journey into a plane of the most unique and glorious soaring of imagination and fascination of flight you will ever have anywhere. Even the location has alacrity… try finding Orlampa, Florida on the map. Can’t? Maybe it’s in another dimension or actually in Polk City, FL between Orlando and Tampa on Interstate 4 in Florida…”
JR Hafer, aviation writer October 2012