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The Big Balloon Race
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Ariel would love to be in the basket of Lucky Star on the day of the big balloon race against Bernard the Brave. Her mother, Carlotta the Great, is the best lady balloonist in America. But Ariel's parents think she is too young. Little do they know she is asleep in the Odds and Ends box when Carlotta the Great orders "Hands off!" and the balloon race begins.

The thrills of Ariel's first ride in a hydrogen balloon come to life in this story based on a real ballooning family of the late 1800's. Carolyn Croll's pictures capture the pageantry and drama of the race, and will have readers rooting to the end for Ariel and her mother.

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Gr 2-4-Eleanor Coerr's beginning chapter book is based on the true account of one of America's most popular balloonists. According to the author's note at the end of the book, Mary Myers, who was better known as Carlotta the Lady Aeronaut, "made more ascensions in hydrogen balloons than any other aeronaut of her time." In this story, set in 1882, Carlotta's daughter stows away in her mother's balloon, unintentionally adding extra weight to the craft and almost costing her mother the race. Carolyn Croll's beautiful watercolor illustrations enhance this delightful tale. Bonnie Kelley-Young's narration is well paced, and appropriate sound effects and background music add to the telling. Page-turn signals are optional. For public and school library collections.-Amy Joslyn, Fairport Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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