Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot: A True Story of the Berlin Airlift and the Candy That Dropped from the Sky
by Margot Theis Raven
A True Story of the Berlin Airlift and the Candy that Dropped from the Sky. Life was grim in 1948 West Berlin, Germany. Josef Stalin blockaded all ground routes coming in and out of Berlin to cut off West Berliners from all food and essential supplies. Without outside help, over 2.2 million people would die. Thus began the Berlin Airlift, a humanitarian rescue mission that utilized British and American airplanes and pilots to fly in needed supplies. As one of the American pilots participating in the Airlift mission, Lt. Gail S. Halvorsen helped to provide not only nourishment to the children but also gave them a reason to hope for a better world. From one thoughtful, generous act came a lifelong relationship between Lt. Gail and the children of Berlin. This is the true story of a seven-year-old girl named Mercedes who lived in West Berlin during the Airlift and of the American who came to be known as the Chocolate Pilot. Artist Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen's evocative paintings illuminate Margot Theis Raven's powerful story of hope, friendship and remembrance. About the Author: Margot Theis Raven has been a professional writer working in the fields of radio, television, magazines, newspapers, and children's books for thirty years. She has won five national awards, including an IRA Teacher's Choice award. Ms. Raven earned her degree in English from Rosemont College and attended Villanova University for theater study, and Kent State University for German language. About the Illustrator: Born in the Netherlands, Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen studied at the Royal Academy of Arts in Holland. He immigrated to the United States in 1976, and years later he became a children's book illustrator. Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot is Nick's ninth children's book with Sleeping Bear Press.
- Dewey: 943
- Graphics: Full-color illustrations
- Hardcover (9781585360697): 48 pages, 9 (w) x 11 (h), © 2002, 04/01/2002
- PDF (9781627531269): 48 pages, © 2014, 08/15/2013
- Hosted ebook (9781627533201): 48 pages, © 2014, 08/15/2013
- Suggested Interest Level: Age 6 - Age 9
- ATOS Reading Level: 4.7
- ATOS Interest Level: LG
- Accelerated Reader® Quiz: 60681
- Accelerated Reader® Points: 0.5
- Storytelling Award--Stories for Young Listeners Category, Winner, 2007
- Bill Martin Jr. Picture Book Award Nominee, Runner-up, 2006
- Children's Crown Honor Book, Winner, 2004
- Show Me Award Nominee, Runner-up, 2004
- "Living the Dream" Book Award--Manhattan Country School, New York, NY, Winner, 2004
- Children's Choices--IRA, Winner, 2003
- Texas Bluebonnet Runner-up, Runner-up, 2003
- Beehive Award Nominee, Runner-up, 2003
- Midwest Independent Publisher Award, Winner, 2002
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Author: Margot Theis Raven
A national award-winning author and speaker, Margot Theis Raven’s long professional career includes writing in the fields of radio, television, magazines, newspapers and children’s books. She has more than 1,000 published articles to her name and nine children’s picture books.
Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot, Margot’s first book with Sleeping Bear Press, was a 2003 Children’s Choice award winner from the International Reading Association. Margot’s books bridge generations of readers through the belief that the worst of times can bring out the best in people and are often set against powerful backdrops such as World War II or America’s Civil Rights period.
Illustrator: Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen
Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen was born in the Netherlands in 1951. With his seven brothers and sisters, he grew up exploring nature and his sketch pads were filled with observations from those family outings. Always drawing as a young boy, his father encouraged Gijsbert to make art his career. After high school, he attended and graduated from the Royal Academy of Arts in Arnhem, Holland.
Gijsbert, or “Mr. Nick” as many children affectionately call him during his school visits, immigrated to the United States in 1976 and worked as Art Director for the Michigan Natural Resources Magazine for 17 years. In 1995, he illustrated his first children’s book, The Legend of Sleeping Bear, finally fullfilling his dream of illustrating children’s books.
Residing in Bath, Michigan, Nick and his family share their 40-acre farm with sheep, horses, dogs, cats, turkeys, rabbits, chickens, pigeons and a revolving door of orphaned and injured wild life. The family’s nature journals logged 20 years of wild life rehabilitation on the farm and it is through these journals that the popular Hazel Ridge series was created. The farm, the land and the animals make great subjects for the artist to paint.
Mr. Nick travels to schools and conferences to share his passion for drawing—encouraging kids to make their hobby their career.