The Great Round-the-World Balloon Race

written and illustrated by Sue Scullard

A visually stunning look at the adventures of Harriet Shaw and her niece and nephew, Rebecca and William, as they set out on a round-the-world balloon race.

Joining dozens of competitors from across the globe, Rebecca and William team up with their famous Aunt Harriet on an amazing race around the world in hot-air balloons. Their odyssey begins at the Eiffel Tower and takes them eastward to marvel at the sights from the Sahara to the Himalayas, on to Borneo and across the Grand Canyon. One by one, balloonists are eliminated by the challenges of the magnificent but harrowing course. Near the finish, the only competitors to remain are the children and Aunt Harriet aboard the Firebreather and Maximilian piloting Daybreak. Shrewdly seizing their chance to win, Aunt Harriet parachutes overboard to lighten the load. The children float onward to Paris--the winners! 

The text is somewhat bland and lifeless but the illustrations are vibrant and filled with intriguing details. Imaginative viewpoints, richly varied colors and textures, and handsome compositions combine to make a visual delight. The balloons themselves are a fanciful assortment of clever shapes and patterns. Readers will find figures and designs drawn from a wide array of cultures as well as humorous shapes throughout.