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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Captain Arsenio: Inventions and (Mis) Adventures in Flight
by Pablo Bernasconi
Age Range: 9-11
Captain Arsenio’s diary is the oldest and most precious aviation manuscript ever known, second only to Leonardo da Vinci. A curious and inventive man, Captain Arsenio liked nothing better than to tinker and explore. One day in 1782 he decided that he would attempt to build the perfect flying machine.
With a hodgepodge of materials (and a total unawareness of the laws of physics), he sets about his ambitious plans with gusto. Will any of his crazy inventions ever be able to fly? First there is the Motocanary, and then he tries the Flying Runner and the Corkscrewpterus, followed by the Aerial Submarine, Illusion Burner, and finally the Hamstertronic. He is certainly nothing, if not inventive. He keeps a detailed flight diary of all his attempts to reach the skies.
This is a hilarious fictional account by the hugely talented author and illustrator Pablo Bernasconi. What is remarkable about this book is that the intricate detailed inventions are meticulously recorded in a sequence of small illustrations. The reader is able to follow Captain Arsenio every step of the way on his attempted flying escapades. Pablo’s use of a collage technique showing the detailed mechanics of each invention is inspired.