Monday, November 7, 2011

Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot

Have you read this book?  It is a great book!  A couple of years ago I was fortunate to be chosen to take part in a Teaching American History grant.  It was wonderful in so many ways, but one of the things I loved was that they emphasized using good literature to teach history.  Several books were shared throughout the grant and this is one of them.  I flipped through the book and thought it would be one I might like to read, but then we moved on to something else..... you know how it goes. 

So, now Veteran's Day is right around the corner and I'm looking for some good children's lit.  I remembered this book and checked it out.  I love it for so many reasons..... first, the illustrations are beautiful.  I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves!

This is the inside cover of the book.  The subtitle is "A True Story of the Berlin Airlift and The Candy That Dropped From The Sky". How cute is this drawing of candy dropping?

Here are a couple of pages from the book.

Next, it is historical fiction based on a actual events.  I really didn't know anything about the Berlin Airlift. There is a page that explains it in a way that is easy to understand. I love learning about something or someone through children's lit.  It makes me want to dig in and learn more.... you know maybe even read something written for adults! :)  Gail Halverson is the pilot who came to be known as "the chocolate pilot". Also, there is a great epilogue that tells a little more of the story.   As far as I could tell Halverson is still alive. This book really gives the reader a lot of information, even if you don't read it all to your class or child. 

Gail Halverson as a young pilot.

Lastly,  this story is about war, more specifically the aftermath of war, but it is also about hope and it is child centered.  I really think school aged children (and adults!) could identify with this book.  I plan to read it to my kindergarten class. I may even end it with a chocolate treat.  It will be a little long for them, so I will break it up into segments, but I think they will enjoy it. It will be part of my Veteran's Day study, but I know our 5th graders do something about WWII and maybe even the Berlin Airlift.  I could see this being a great resource for them. 

I hope I've made you want to know the whole story.  See if your library has it, and enjoy the story.  It is by Margot Theis Raven and illustrated by Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen.  Also, take a minute or two to thank a Veteran you know for their service!

Keep reading,


  1. Ooops! I accidentally copied a link into my tagline thingamajig. So I'm starting over.
    YES, I want to read the whole story now. Thanks for sharing!!!!
    And have I already told you how cute your blog design is???
    A Teeny Tiny Teacher

  2. Thank you Kristin! I hope you can get your hands on the book and enjoy it. I love my blog design, too. The Posh Box is wonderful!