“Balloon Boy” move over. Didn’t you know that in 1907 a fourteen year old built a flying bicycle with a large hydrogen balloon as large as a whale to keep it in the air?
Crowmell Dixon’s Sky-Cycle written and illustrated by John Abbott Nez is a delightful book detailing a tiny historical event of the early 1900’s. Cromwell Dixon was an inventor, a tinkerer of gadgets and ideas and he was only fourteen.
From four rower rowboats to mechanical fish from wind-up clocks, Cromwell had ideas. Not all were successful but he persevered. After his first flying trip in 1904, Cromwell decided that he wanted to become an aeronaut and build his own flying ship. His first idea was a flying bicycle, a “sky-cycle.”
The books continues with his experiments to get the “sky-cycle” in the air at the St. Louis Airship Carnival of 1907. It’s one more book about having a dream and persevering even when challenges present themselves such as the balloon catching on fire.
The story and the illustrations will enchant young readers. The author’s note at the end includes a photo of the real Cromwell and more facts about him. There is also a bibliography.
I work in a school where there can never be enough stories about sticking with it when challenges present themselves. Thanks John Abbott Nez for another such story.
Sally of Whispers of Dawn is hosting Non-Fiction Monday.
Title: Cromell Dixon’s Sky-Cycle
Author: John Abbott Nez
Date Published: 2009
Reading Level: Ages 4-8
Publisher: G.P. Putnam Books
Source of Book: Sent by publisher.