Philip C. Stead, author of the 2011 Caldecott winning A Sick Day for Amos McGee, brings his considerable talents to this fanciful story of a boy who goes in search of adventure. Sitting on his roof one night, Sebastian decides that there’s nothing very interesting to see on his street: It is definitely time for a change. What spells adventure more than a journey in a hot air balloon, especially one constructed from Grandma’s afghans and patchwork quilts?
Of course, as all intrepid travelers know, packing well is essential. After all, when you meet real bears, you want to be able to share a pickle sandwich together. And when your afghan has sprung a leak, it’s advisable to have knitting needles on hand so that three helpful sisters can help with repairs. And when the wind picks up, well, then everyone will want to pile in to see where the balloon will go next.
With its large format and appealing pastel and oil paintings, Sebastian and the Balloon is a perfect choice for story time—and for all young readers ready to undertake their own flights of imagination. As Sebastian knows, all it takes is to chart your course, check the breeze, cut the strings and float free.
Deborah Hopkinson lives near Portland, Oregon. Her most recent book for young readers is The Great Trouble.