The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pene du Bois
Professor William Waterman Sherman just wants to be alone. So he decides to take a year off and spend it crossing the Pacific Ocean in a hot-air balloon the likes of which no one has ever seen. But when he is found after just three weeks floating in the Atlantic among the wreckage of twenty hot-air balloons, naturally, the world is eager to know what happened. How did he end up with so many balloons … and in the wrong ocean?
I found this book in a little bookstore in a tiny town. I was only allowed to choose one book and I deliberated for quite a while over buying this one. I am so, so glad I did buy it, because The Twenty-One Balloons is one of my favorite books. The story, both realistic and whimsical, of Professor Sherman made me smile. It felt like reading a picture book again, back in the days of Doctor Seuss and The Kissing Hand, but a picture book for the most sophisticated of children. The Twenty-One Balloons won’t make your heart pound as our pretty young heroine takes down the corrupt government, it won’t make you melt like your favorite romance (we all have them). So why do I love it so much? The Twenty-One Balloons is the rare kind of story you can’t help but love, when you didn’t even know you wanted it.
Ex Libris, Veritas
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