The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pène du Bois
Another one of my favorite children’s books, The Twenty-One Balloons is an adventure tale that I’ll let Wikipedia set up: The story begins with the rescue of Professor William Waterman Sherman, who was picked up by a steamship whilst floating among a strange wreck of twenty deflated gas balloons in the North Atlantic. Sherman, a recently retired schoolteacher, was last seen three weeks ago leaving San Francisco on a giant balloon, determined to spend a year drifting alone. The world waits breathlessly to find out how he could have circumnavigated the globe in record time and landed in the ocean with twenty balloons rather than the one with which he began his journey. After several days’ rest and a hero’s welcome, the professor recounts his journey before a captivated audience.
In my dream world, this would be a limited edition of 100, with each of the 21 balloons on the cover hand-pressed (in differing places each time) making each of the covers unique.
This is just gorgeous. I had never heard of this book until checking out a new followers blog, but I’d love to read it. Children’s novels are always interesting. What the author chooses to include and how they choose to include it tells a lot about what they think of young people need to hear before they grow up!