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Violet the Pilot

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  682 ratings  ·  112 reviews
By the time she's two years old, Violet Van Winkle can fix nearly any appliance in the house. And by eight she's building elaborate flying machines from scratch, mind-boggling contraptions such as the Tubbubbler, the Bicycopter, and the Wing-a-ma-jig. The kids at school tease her, but they have no idea what she's capable of. Maybe she could earn their respect by winning ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published March 13th 2008 by Dial Books
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Average rating 4.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  682 ratings  ·  112 reviews


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Adam M
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
You know what, I'm taking credit for this. Normally, I wouldn't, but I brought it home from the library for Violet and she made me read it to her 3 times in 16 hours. I think I earned it. (also, it's a positive story about a little girl who likes to build and invent. I highly recommend it)
Andy
Jun 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
(The five-star rating is from Andy; the following review is by Sarah.)

I actually kind of like this book, although the plot itself is pretty formulaic. (The Dumbo formula, to be specific.) There are a couple problems, like the fact that other kids make fun of Violet for being different seems kind of tacked on. That is, it's essential to the formula, but it's mentioned almost as an aside. On the other hand, I am glad that the author didn't dwell on the teasing, because I certainly don't want Andy
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Ruth
This is a wonderful book with great illustrations about a little girl who builds flying machines and the adventures she has with her dog Orville. My son loved it, too. I loved it because she rescued a troop of Boy Scouts! Pair this with "Rosie Revere, Engineer" for a great gift.
Stacy  Natal
May 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Violet the imaginative, talented, out of the box thinker ends up saving a bunch of boyscouts with her self made plane and finally gets respect from her classmates. The plot is formulaic, but the kids that I read it to LOVED it. One was itching to find a local junkyard to get started on his own inventions. Fantastic illustrations!
Julien
Dec 07, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2017-charlotte
I'm going to go against the grain with my review- I really didn't like this book. It starts out "she was weird! Unlike other girls because she liked to build things and wasn't interested in dolls and tea!" (soooo weird for girls...) "she didn't have friends.... boys called her names...." All because she didn't conform to outdated gender norms. Moral of the story is that she stuck to what she loved, worked to help people and withstood being a social pariah until she went above and beyond to prove ...more
Diane
Aug 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Violet is a mechanical genius and by the time she turned 8, she was building flying machines like the Tub-bubbler, the Bicycopter, the Rocket Can and others. Of course the kids at school hassle Violet because she's different ("Claude and Clyde Mulrooney were especially obnoxious.") Violet hopes that participating in the 14th Annual Air Show will earn her some friends at school. But, she gets sidetracked on the way to the air show ... deciding helping boy scouts in need was more important.

I love
...more
Stephanie Fujii
Mike bought this for Amaya at the Air and Space Smithsonian last week - a good pick! A sweet story about a smart girl who is creative, curious and kind. Triple threat. She builds her own planes and saves lives! Great illustrations, too!
Dana
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Little girl builds her own airplane, saves boy scouts, was bullied in school, but is now a hero.
Owesha Henry
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Ok there isn't anything that I don't like about this story. Violet the Pilot is a fictional book about a girl Violet Van Winkle who from a very early age could take apart things and reassemble them. At the age of eight she was building elaborate flying machines from scratch. Kids from school would make fun of her because she had no friends and would sit alone reading books. One day she sees a poster on a store window for an air show and decides she wanted to be apart of it. She couldn't wait to ...more
Eric Rock
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: csr
Why does Violet have to be an outlier to pursue her passion? Why must she be alone and persecuted? I don't see where the author develops any characters that Violet depends on for approval. She never seem to be impacted. Why are the classmates in the book at all? Violet doesn't interact or even acknowledge their opinions. This book was as good as the majority seems to think when I edited about 8-10 mean words. For those who applaud the "girl overcomes bullies", I don't see where Violet cares ...more
Emily Krafcik
This story is excellent for so many reason! Violet being a female pilot is one. This can empower young girls to do anything they set their minds to no matter if they are a boy or a girl, or even a young age. In addition, this story celebrates differences, but still gives a taste of the negative things that may happen for being different, like the bullying from the twin boys. Certainly the boy scout troop needing rescuing were not negative towards Violet's abilities and ingenuity! I think what is ...more
Melissa
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another wonderful picture book for girls (and boys!) everywhere - Violet is quite the empowering young lady! While her classmates make fun of her, she works hard and aspires to build a plane worthy of competition. But when her plans don't quite work out (in, I must admit, a very sudden plot turn that was a bit jarring to the flow of the story) she learns a few great lessons: helping others is always more important, and great accomplishments are always rewarded! I absolutely loved the added humor ...more
Sharon
Dec 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5

Cute story about a little girl named Violet, who's a self-taught pilot and aircraft engineer. There was a bit of the "not like other girls" trope in which Violet is teased for being different and not playing with dolls and tea sets, which I didn't love 100%. I was also confused when the ending implied that she won her parents' approval, but they seemed be pretty supportive throughout the book. Still, overall a fun and inspiring book, and I appreciated the representation of a girl interested
...more
Suzanne
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Add this one to your Girl Power book basket because it's a keeper! Violet send the message that you can do what you like - taking things apart, putting them back together and building things that can fly - and be successful. Just do it. She is a bit of a loner with a mind of her own and will ring true to many young people out there. The illustrations are fantastic - actually that is what drew me to the book in the first place. Violet is a pretty cool kid - she even gets bugs in her teeth!
Jo Oehrlein
Dec 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Violet builds many planes, iterating and learning as she goes. She is inspired by an upcoming air show and builds a better plane that can do acrobatics. She practices and thinks she will do well as an entry there.

The day of the air show, Violet encounters a scout troop needing a rescue. She used her airplane's maneuverability and her flying skills to save them. But, she missed the air show.

Later, she was recognized as a hero.
Claire
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Why would I write review for a children's book? It's because Violet the Pilot is a fantastic.

There's the story, first of all. It's empowering without being in your face about it.

Then, there's Violet herself! Such a loveable character! And who can forget her adorable dog, Orville?

The illustrations are also lovely. They appear simple at first, but there's so much detail hidden on each page.

It's whimsical, charming, and empowering! Such a great book for kids (and adults alike!)
Billy
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books to read to my daughter. Granted, that may be because her name is Violet, and she may own a pilot's cap, but I like to think it's because Violet the Pilot is a great story about a little girl is intelligent, inventive and brave. Highly recommended to read to boys and girls alike.
Ashley
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fabulous children's book for ages 3-8. It is intelligent, comical, endearing, and morally educational. Illustrations are clear and inspire imagination and creativity, as does the story. This book is empowering for girls and for any children who have ever felt out of place or strange in mainstream school.
Chelsea
Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book. THIS BOOK. My goodness, not only did this book have an AMAZING message, but it made me LAUGH so much. This book is the embodiment of empowerment. This book shows that no matter who you are, you will face adversity and you can absolutely overcome it. You should always do what you think is right. Perseverance and faith in yourself is what you need! BE WHO YOU WERE MEANT TO BE!!
Kalynda
This book is more than a story about a girl who loves to fly, it is about imagination, inventions, being true to yourself, and choosing to be helpful over personal wishes. I would pair this with any great science process picture book, like "The Most Magnificent Thing", among others. Wonderful story!
Jenny Hartfelder
This is a cute story that we received through Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. I love seeing how Violet was willing to set aside her desire to fly in the air show in order to rescue those who had been unkind to her. Shares great messages of putting others first and responding in kindness as well as creativity and imagination.
Marcia
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Violet loves to tinker and build flying machines. She is is taunted at school because she is different. But when she is on her way to the air show, an act of selfless heroism changes her life. Imaginative and fun.
Morgan Stout
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: toddler
"Violet the Pilot" is a great book for older toddlers and preschoolers who love airplanes! It is a great introduction to more complex vocabulary. Also, the illustrations are beautiful! "Violet the Pilot" is a favorite in our family.
Ann Haefele
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Engaging picture book about a smart young girl who loves to invent machines. Violet is an underdog, and does not fit in with the “in crowd”, but eventually saves the day with one of her flying inventions.
Buffie
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: new-books-18, read-18
Such a powerful character is found in Violet! Her less than enthusiastic co-pilot, Orville the dog, is a wonderful touch. I also like the fact that the pain others try to cause her doesn't lessen the human in her heart.
Lindsay
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sadie-s-loves
FINALLY! A book with a female lead character that isn’t about love or princesses or fairies or the like. Just one smart girl doing what she loves and saving the day. And in turn, inspiring a whole generation of smart girls to do what they love and save the day.
Kirsten Murphy
TOPICS:
strong female characters, STEAM, inventing/building/designing, character traits, success/failure/perseverance, flying/aviators

BOOK CONNECTIONS:
Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon
Odd Velvet
The Most Magnificent Thing
The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do
Rosie Revere Engineer
I Am Amelia Earhart
Hannah
May 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-we-own
A good book about girls and inventions!
Sara
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids, 2019
I loved this book. Fun and inspiring.
Peacegal
Aug 21, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars -- Wonderful illustrations and a high-flying storyline reminiscent of a Pixar short.
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