Lilian Bland

An Amazing Aviatrix

By (author): Haley Healey
Illustrated by: Kimiko Fraser
ISBN 9781772034684
Softcover | Publication Date: October 3, 2023
Book Dimensions: 9 in. x 9 in.
32 Pages
$12.95 CAD
E-Book Price: $9.99 CAD

About the Book

A beautifully illustrated children’s book chronicling the amazing life story of Lilian Bland, the first woman ever to design, build, and fly her own airplane.

Ever since she was a little girl, Lilian Bland (1878–1971) wanted to fly. She loved to watch black gulls soaring through the sky near her England home, and she was fascinated by the mechanics of flight. However, airplanes were still very new when she was growing up, and those who did fly were usually men. Lilian would not give up. When she could not find anyone to teach her to fly, she took matters into her own hands. She designed and built her own plane, and after many tries, she finally got it to fly.

This delightful picture book celebrates the life of Lilian Bland, remembered both in England and in her adopted home of Quatsino Sound, on Vancouver Island, for her many achievements—especially her ground-breaking achievements in aviation. Told with beautiful illustrations and a clear, inspiring narrative, Lilian’s story of adventure and creativity is sure to enchant young readers.

About the Author(s)

Haley Healey is a high school counsellor, registered clinical counsellor, and the bestselling author of of books for all ages about extraordinary historical women. Her books include the Trailblazing Canadians series; Her Courage Rises (a finalist for the 2023 Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize); On Their Own Terms: True Stories of Trailblazing Women of Vancouver Island; and Flourishing and Free: More Stories of Trailblazing Women of Vancouver Island. A self-proclaimed trailblazing woman herself, she enjoys exploring Vancouver Island’s trails, waters, and wilderness. She has an avid interest in wild places and lives in Nanaimo, British Columbia.

Kimiko Fraser is an illustrator and historian-in-training. She grew up constantly making—drawing, painting, knitting, sculpting, bookbinding, etc.—and has never learned how to stop. She is the illustrator of Her Courage Rises: 50 Trailblazing Women of British Columbia and the Yukon and the Trailblazing Canadians Series. She holds a bachelor of arts (honours History, major Visual Arts) from the University of Victoria. She works with many mediums to create her illustrations, including watercolour, digital, ink, and tea. Most of her work is inspired by her interest in plants, history, and folktales.


“Haley Healey's latest book introduces readers to an incredibly brave, multi-talented woman who should be much better known. Lilian Bland’s story will encourage and inspire kids — and adults — to follow their dreams, just as she did.”
—Elizabeth MacLeod, author of Meet Elsie MacGill and Meet Buffy Sainte-Marie
“Lilian Bland led a fascinating life that was anything but bland. A new challenge was what she loved best, and she wouldn’t let anything hold her back. Here is a fascinating introduction to her inspiring story.”
—Hugh Brewster, author of Unsinkable Lucile: How A Farm Girl Became The Queen of Fashion And Survived The Titanic
“As a mother with an eldest daughter who is a commercial pilot, I was delighted to learn about the life of Lillian Bland (the first woman to design, build, and fly her own plane) in the pages of this informative biography of this Canadian pioneer aviator!”
—Susan Hughes, Toronto-based author of many children’s books, editor, writer, and story coach