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The greatest aircraft of all time are lifting off again-with your help! The Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum and IDW Publishing present a fascinating new coloring book that provides a beautiful and informative tour through the high-flying world of airplanes.

About the Author

John Pirtel was born in New Haven, Connecticut and raised on a farm in North Branford where he avoided farm work and took to reading, drawing and watching TV. He wasn't allowed to watch Superman or Batman because once when he was about seven or eight he decided to "fly" off the back of the couch onto the slate floor, so he drew them instead...along with everything, especially the images found on the funny pages of the newspaper. Self-taught, with the exception of high school classes, John attended the prestigious Kubert School where he honed his craft under the watchful eye of some of the industry's greatest. Upon leaving school John spent several years designing toy premiums for cereal companies as well as illustrating comics and images for licensing. Recently, John took some time to do some classroom teaching and develop a not for profit after-school program in the New Haven area (all while keeping up his illustration work). Aside from his Kubert School education, he holds a Bachelor's degree in Youth Development and a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education. In his spare time, John enjoys genealogy, playing tennis, reading and collecting original comic strip art.


"Airplanes: A Smithsonian Coloring Book, is the second of four announced coloring books that combine historical artifacts, current artists, and staffs of various Smithsonian museums to provide a virtual tour of museums while sharing the knowledge of what made the subjects an important part of science, nature, and technology. Each page of these books is accompanied by informative insights from the museum's experts about each dinosaur, aircraft, bird, or spacecraft, tying them all together as fun learning tools."

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