A Selection of International Children's and Youth Literature

English / USA

Sebastian and the balloon

Stead, Philip Christian (text/illus.)
New York, N.Y.: Roaring Brook Press, 2014. – [40] p.
(A Neal Porter book)
ISBN 978-1-59643-930-6

Boredom – Adventure – Creativity –
Friendship – Picture book

Nothing exciting ever happens in Sebastian’s street; at least not as far as he can see. So he quickly packs “all the things he would ever need”, builds a grand hot air balloon using his grandmother’s blankets and quilts, and flies off into the blue sky on the look-out for something “new”. Soon he is joined by other adventure-seeking folk: a real bear, a very tall bird, and three wizened old sisters. The slightly nostalgic-looking, matt double-spread illustrations are rendered in pastels, oil paints, and pressed charcoal. Alternating between close-ups and wide-angle shots, they present a perfect balance between colour planes, open spaces, and quirky objects. In this magical and dreamy tale, Philip Stead takes his audiences and the motley crew of protagonists on an amazing adventure that culminates in a seemingly endless roller-coaster ride. However, the open ending nudges readers to imagine countless further trips for explorer Sebastian and his new friends. (Age: 4+)