Zephyr Takes Flight

Written and Illustrated by: Steve Light

Before Reading

Explore Illustrations

Before you take flight with Zephyr, peruse the illustrations and talk about your child's observations and predictions using questions like:

What do you notice on the front cover?

Have you ever seen a plane like that one before? What kind of plane do you usually see?

What do you think will happen in this story? 

{Flip to an illustration} What do you think is happening in this picture?

As You Read

Vocabulary Development

Encourage your child to stop when s/he gets to a new word in the story. See if s/he can discover its meaning by using the illustrations and words surrounding it. Examples of new words from Zephyr Takes Flight include:



Make Connections

Help your child relate to the characters in the story by asking questions about how different parts of the story are reminders of his/her own experiences. When Zephyr makes Rumbus a new pair of wings, ask "What makes Rumbus different from the other pigs? Can you think of something that makes you different from other people? Is it something that you can change or want to change? Why or why not?"

After Reading

Summarize and Interpret

To ensure comprehension, ask your child about what happened in the book. Who/what were the characters and places in book? What happened in the story? Ask your child the following questions after finishing to further explore his/her understanding of the book:

What was your favorite part of "Zephyr Takes Flight"?

When Zephyr gets sent to her room, how do you think she feels? How does that change later in the book?

How does Zephyr help Rumbus? How do Rumbus and the rest of the pigs help her get home?

If you had a secret room like Zephyr, what would be inside? Airplanes or something else?

Activities: Through Your Own Door

Supplies: paper, pen/ pencil, paint, paintbrush, glitter, crayons and any other art materials that you want to use

Using Zephyr’s secret room as inspiration, take out a piece of paper and brainstorm the different characteristics that your room would have. What would the room look like? What would be in your room? What kinds of things would you do in the room? Perhaps it would be full of sports equipment, cake-baking materials, or books. Once you've got all of your child's ideas written down, bring it to life by drawing or painting an image of what your room would look like. Use materials like watercolor paints, crayons, and glitter to create your dream space.


STEM Extensions

Try creating your own paper airplanes using different designs and see which ones work the best. Note their general wing length and width, the size of the body, and other factors that may contribute to their flight time and ask your child why s/he thinks one flies better than another. Try using these 10 design ideas and determine which one works the best. You can either use a timer and document each plane's flight time or make it a competition, flying two at a time and seeing which one hits the ground last.