Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Pilot Alphabet named “Best Book” 2009 Finalist

The Pilot Alphabet named “Best Book” 2009 Finalist

www.PowderPuffPilot.com or call toll-free at 888‑801-6628.

October 20, 2009, Aurora, Colorado – When USA Book News announced the results of its national “Best Books” awards for 2009, Sue Hughes was flying high. The author’s first publication was among the finalists in the national contest’s Children’s Picture Book – Softcover Fiction category. Her book, The Pilot Alphabet, presents the phonetic alphabet, an international standard adapted by pilots as well as military, police, and fire personnel. Also known as the NATO alphabet, it is used for radio communications when a clear understanding is essential. Bravo, for example, is used instead of B, to avoid confusion with D, G, P, or T.

“I envisioned this book for pilots to read to their children and grandchildren, but it’s gone on to have a much wider appeal,” said Hughes, a Denver–based pilot and flight instructor. “The phonetic alphabet is one thing about aviation that even the youngest flyers can learn.” The Pilot Alphabet employs a lyrical, rhyming text to present the 26 terms in an entertaining way, drawing from Hughes’ experience as an elementary school teacher.

The Pilot Alphabet is the first in a series of picture books that features Claire Bear, a pink-clad aviatrix with an ulterior motive: to attract girls to aviation. While most airplane books exclusively target boys, Hughes’ books put a girl in cockpit, providing a role model for girls to relate to. “It also doesn’t hurt for boys to get used to seeing girls in the cockpit,” said Hughes.

On the market less than a year, The Pilot Alphabet is already in its second printing. Hughes credits the bright, whimsical, engaging illustrations in her book for its wide appeal. She contracted with International Illustrators, which matches authors with artists on a world-wide scale. “The minute I saw Wang DaiYu’s work,” Hughes said of her illustrator, a 24-year-old Chinese art student, “I knew it was a perfect match.” Ms. Wang has since illustrated the sequel, Claire Bear’s First Solo, which came out last summer, and is currently working on the third Claire Bear book, What Pilots Fly, due out next Spring.

Winners of the National “Best Books” 2009 Awards were announced by the President and CEO of USA Book News, Jeff Keen, who noted that this year’s contest yielded an unprecedented number of entries from a wide array of U.S. publishers. Hughes’ 32-page book, published by Powder Puff Pilot, was among hundreds of independent houses that competed head-to-head against publishing giants such as Simon & Schuster, Penguin, and McGraw-Hill. A complete list of winners and finalists is available online at www.USABookNews.com.

Powder Puff Pilot is an independent publisher and web retailer founded in November 2008 by Sue Hughes of Aurora, Colorado. In addition to the Claire Bear children’s book series, Powder Puff Pilot publishes This Day in Women’s Aviation, a page-a-day calendar that celebrates milestones and events in women’s aviation history. For further information or to order Powder Puff Pilot products, visit www.PowderPuffPilot.com or call toll-free at 888‑801-6628.

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