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K-Gr. 3. Combining fact and fancy, -Priceman tells the story of the successful 1783 liftoff of a hot-air balloon, invented by the Montgolfier brothers, a flight made even more special because of its passengers: a duck, a sheep, and a rooster. Priceman sets the scene in several picture-text spreads, then segues into a nearly wordless visual narrative of the animals' comedic encounters with a clothesline, a boy with bow and arrow, a flock of birds, and more, capturing everything in buoyant artwork full of swirls and clever details (the balloon moves past animal-shaped clouds). The history, highlighted in an illustrated time line at the end of the book, takes a backseat to the humorous antics of the animals. As for the truth. Priceman claims she "heard this part of the story from a duck, who heard it from a sheep, who heard it from a rooster a long, long time ago." This differs considerably from Anik McGrory's Mouton's Impossible Dream (2000); both books employ aerial perspectives and focus on the animals, but Priceman's whimsical art is much livelier. Julie Cummins
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"Priceman's wonderful, vivacious black ink and watercolor paintings... add motion and buoyancy to an already soaring tale of a historic hot-air balloon ride." -- Kirkus Reviews "A tale that's sure to soar with young readers." -- Publishers Weekly "llustrations are chock-a-block with goofy shenanigans that demand several viewings." -- The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books "A tale that's sure to soar with young readers." -- "Publishers Weekly" "A tale that's sure to soar with young readers." -- "Publishers Weekly"