USABookNews.com has named two publications from Powder Puff Pilot as finalists of uts Best Books 2010 Awards. Claire Bear’s First Solo was recognized in the Children’s Picture Book: Softcover Fiction category, while Claire Bear Explains…What Pilots Fly placed as a finalist in the Children’s Picture Book: Softcover Non-Fiction category. The books, written by Sue Hughes and illustrated by Wang DaiYu of International Illustrators, comprise part of a three-book series that feature Claire Bear, a pink-clad, aerobatic pilot and mentor to aspiring aviators. Hughes uses lyrical rhymes and whimsical illustrations to ignite an interest in aviation among the 3 to 7-year-old set, especially girls. “I consider this series as ground school for preschoolers,” said Hughes, “It’s never too soon to start pilot training!”
Hughes, an aviation technical writer and flight instructor, published her first children’s book in 2008. “I put a female bear in the cockpit so that girls could picture themselves as pilots,” she explained. In her initial offering, Claire Bear Presents…The Pilot Alphabet, the aviatrix bear teaches aspiring pilots about Alfa, Bravo, Charlie, and the rest of the phonetic alphabet that pilots use to communicate over the radio. It was a Best Books 2009 finalist.
In Claire Bear’s First Solo, the second in the Claire Bear series and one of this year’s award finalists, the heroine reminisces about the first time she flew by herself, a milestone that every pilot vividly remembers. While flying the pattern, she introduces youngsters to aviation terms such as “throttle,” “centerline,” and “downwind.” The third book in the series, Claire Bear Explains… What Pilots Fly, debuted in July. In it, Claire presents the different types of aircraft and missions that pilots fly—from gliders and hot air balloons to medevac and jet fighters.
Jeffrey Keen, president and CEO of USABookNews.com, said this year’s contest yielded an unprecedented number of entries, which were narrowed down to some 500 winners and finalists. “The 2010 results represent a phenomenal mix of books from a wide array of publishers throughout the United States,” he said.
Powder Puff Pilot, an independent publisher located near Denver, competed against industry giants such as Simon & Schuster, Penguin/Putnum, and McGraw-Hill as well as hundreds of other independent houses. This is the eighth year for the awards, presented for titles published in 2010 and late 2009.
Powder Puff Pilot was founded in November 2008 by Sue Hughes of Aurora, Colorado. Among her other published works is This Day in Women’s Aviation, a page-a-day calendar for 2011 that highlights events and milestones in women’s aviation history. For more information: PowderPuffPilot.com or 888-801-6628.