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Keepsake that Educates!

Book Review/Giveaway: The Fabulous Flying Machines of Alberto Santos-Dumont. Ends April 7th.

The Fabulous Flying Machines of Alberto Santos-Dumont by Victoria Griffith and illustrated by Eva Montanari

About the Book: While the Wright Brothers were gliding in the air over Kitty Hawk, a charming Brazilian named Alberto Santos-Dumont was making his own mark on the history of flight. Alberto loved floating over the crowded streets of Paris in his personal flying machine called a dirigible. Whether he was going to buy a new hat or meet a friend at a restaurant, Alberto went everywhere in his controllable balloon.
In the early 1900s, Alberto had the skies to himself. But he wanted to fly farther and faster than his dirigible could take him.

After several years of hard work, Alberto was ready to try out his new flying machine, which had been transformed from a balloon to a box with wings! But there was competition. Another inventor, Louis Blériot, challenged Alberto to see who would be the first to take off from a Parisian field in a self-propelled plane, one that would fly and land by its own power. Would Alberto’s hard work pay off? Who would be the first in the air?
Beautifully illustrated and full of little-known facts about the history of aviation, this book will enlighten young readers about who really flew the first airplane!

My Review: This is an excellent story about Alberto Santos-Dumont who designed, built and flew one of the first practical dirigibles. It was great to know that Alberto went everywhere in his controllable balloon. The author tells how Alberto needed a watch that would help him mark the time that he is in the air as he was unable to do so while his hands were on the controls.

Alberto complained to his good friend Louis Cartier who was an inventor of the pocket watches and jewelry. He told him about the difficulty of checking his pocket watch while flying. So Cartier came up with an alternative that would allow Alberto keep both hands on the controls and check time, he made a watch with a leather band.

Author Griffith did a great job in providing readers with not only the facts about Alberto Santos-Dumont, but also introducing readers to another inventor Louis Cartier and Orville and Wilbur Wright who were credited with inventing and building the world’s first successful airplane.

The author did a great job in connecting the story of Alberto with his love of flying, to needing a watch and his love of hats which he used often to put out flames as his airship float had a tendency of catching on fire.

The beautiful illustrations by Eva Montanari not only tell the story but helps brings the story to life. The Fabulous Flying Machines of Alberto Santos-Dumont is a recipient of the prestigious Mom’s Choice Award. I highly recommend this book for classroom reading.

Fact: Although Patek Phillipe created the first wristwatch in 1868, Louis Cartier is responsible for helping to popularize it over the traditional pocket watch.

Disclaimer: As per FTC guidelines, I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review. I received no monetary compensation. All opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone.

Giveaway Rules


There will be 1 winner

This Giveaway is Open to the USA Only

Winner will be selected by

Giveaway Ends April 7th, 2012. Winner will be listed at

Giveaway Guidelines and Disclaimer

Comments like these would be deleted – Great contest, Please enter me, Love to win this!, This is so cute!

1. Mandatory: First leave a comment about the review below. Leaving a helpful comment relating to this book would be appreciated and valid to the giveaway.

2. Mandatory Entry: Please click link below and read the author’s interview and leave a comment there.

Do Not Forget to Click the Link
above to leave Your Comment
about the interview also!


This Giveaway Has Ended!

Giveaway Winner #3 – lisa

March 20, 2012 - Posted by | Book Review, Free Giveaways | , , , , , , ,


  1. “Happy Spring!”
    I didn’t know about this man and his invention…My paternal grandmother is from France!
    I also find it interesting that he was friends with Cartier…
    Many thanks, Cindi

    Comment by cmh512 (@cmh512) | March 20, 2012 | Reply

  2. I would actually love to read about him myself. An interesting story that adults and kids alike would enjoy.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

    Comment by caroluci | March 21, 2012 | Reply

  3. What a neat story; a good read for the kids homeschool collection!

    Comment by lisa | March 21, 2012 | Reply

  4. How interesting! I am not much of a history person and only know of a flying machine done by the Wright brothers. Curious what the overall age group is for this book? I am thinking that maybe my son would love it, since he is into history and loves flying.

    Comment by larissa brunken | March 21, 2012 | Reply

  5. What a neat book! I love that it sounds like it is a fun book PLUS it’s interesting with the historical references. I’d love to read this book to my children🙂

    Comment by Kristie | March 22, 2012 | Reply

  6. The review is good. I did not know about this man until this book. Good to know about his inventions. Interesting that he knew Cartier.

    Comment by Barb K. | March 23, 2012 | Reply

  7. I enjoyed your review. This sounds like an interesting book. I’ve never heard of this inventor.

    Comment by bn100 | March 24, 2012 | Reply

  8. This sounds like a very interesting book. My son is very interesting in making things fly right now, so I think he’d be very interested in this.

    Comment by domestic diva | March 25, 2012 | Reply

  9. Alberto Santos-Dumont sounds like a very fascinating and interesting person. I look forward to learning more about his contributions to aviation.

    Comment by likwan | April 7, 2012 | Reply

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