The Big Balloon Race
Author: Eleanor Coerr
Artist: Carolyn Croll
Genre: Balloons / Adventure / Family / Children's
Year Published: 1981
Year Read: 2019
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers
Series: I Can Read Books
Content Rating: Ages 4+ (Some Complex Terms)
When I was little, my parents used to buy me and my sisters a couple of books from the “I Can Read” book series. We have quite a lot of books from this series and one of the books that we had owned for a long time was “The Big Balloon Race” by Eleanor Coerr along with artwork by Carolyn Croll. This is definitely a book you should read if you are a huge fan of aeronauts!
The story starts off with Ariel begging her mother Carlotta the Great to go into the balloon race with her. But Carlotta the Great thinks that Ariel is too young to be in the race and tells Ariel that as soon as they get to the race, she should stay in the Odds and Ends box until it was time for the race to begin. When the Myers family finally made it to the balloon race, there was a huge celebration for the competing balloonists, which was between Bernard the Brave and Carlotta the Great herself. Ariel then slept in the Odds and Ends box until the mayor’s speech was over. But Ariel accidentally overslept and Carlotta the Great ended up going into her balloon and taking off with Ariel inside the basket. When Ariel finally woke up, she noticed that she was now in the air with her mother and now she has to help her mother win the race against Bernard the Brave!
Wow! I was quite impressed with this book! Eleanor Coerr did a fantastic job at writing this book as the book is full of excitement and wonder as we get to see how the balloon races were set up during the 1880s! I enjoyed seeing the excitement that the protagonists have for the balloon race and I loved the fact that they gave it their all in competing in the races. I especially loved the way that Eleanor Coerr wrote both Carlotta the Great and Ariel as they were the most intriguing characters in the book. I loved the fact that Carlotta the Great was a strong female protagonist who kept her cool throughout the entire race and even tried to protect Ariel throughout the race. I also loved the fact that Ariel was so determined to be in the race and when she finally got into the race, she may have panicked at some moments, but she eventually got herself together when the situation got tough. Carolyn Croll’s artwork is adorable and creative to look at as all the characters have nice rounded faces and I enjoyed seeing all of the different types of balloons that were used in the race.
Overall, “The Big Balloon Race” is a truly joyous read for anyone who loves reading books about balloon races and want to know what aeronauts are. I would recommend this book to children ages four and up since some small children might not understand what the term “aeronaut” means, unless it was explained to them by a parent or a teacher.
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