AUTHOR DAN PEGRAM is a retired United States Air Force lieutenant colonel and command pilot who flew the KC-135 aerial refueling aircraft. After his retirement from the Air Force, Dan worked at Southwest Airlines, where he served as a Boeing 737 captain and chairman of the airline union's professional standards committee. Dan is now the president of Contrail Creations LLC, which is dedicated to children's education, literacy, and marketing. Dan resides in Crowley, Texas, with his wife Suzanne. They are the proud parents of daughter Leslie, and sons Brian and Kevin. They have four grandchildren, Bailey, Charlotte, Kamden, and Kollins.
ILLUSTRATOR MIKE RICHARDSON is a multidisciplinary visual artist based out of North Carolina. Art became Mike's driving force early on when he discovered his ability to leave a mark on the world around him using a simple box of crayons. From that moment forward, everything within reach became a canvas for his artistic expression. After receiving encouragement through middle and high school from peers and teachers, he decided to pursue art as a career. In 2005, Mike earned a BFA in painting and printmaking from Appalachian State University, and received an associate's degree in graphic design and illustration from Guilford Technical Community College in 2010. Currently, Mike is the creative force behind Rebel Soul Studio, where he uses his unique illustration style to create poster prints, apparel, stickers, skateboards, hand-painted custom shoes, and original paintings. Mike lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, with his wife Jennilee and their two amazing children, Olivia and Hendrix.
ASK THE AUTHOR
What lessons do you hope children will take away from learning with Pop-Pop Airplane?
"Literacy is the cornerstone to learning and success, and I hope my books encourage children to enjoy reading and to embrace every book they read as a learning adventure! Reading is fun and helps connect children with the world around them. So, whether children are first-time fliers or seasoned travelers, this book and the series will be entertaining and educational."
What advice would you give to children who are interested in becoming pilots or learning more about planes?
"Aviation is a wonderful and exciting career path. Flying is like no other job, and as a career, it offers tremendous opportunities for travel and adventure! Going to work each day is both rewarding and challenging."
How does your book stand out from others that teach children about planes and flight?
"Children learn to read through rhyming and through visual engagement; the artwork on each page meaningfully illustrates the words so that they capture a child’s imagination. For educating young readers, it’s so important that the text is simple, and that the rhymes align with the pictures in a dynamic way that engages them in an interesting, positive, learning experience."