A Voyage in the Clouds
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A Voyage in the Clouds : The (Mostly) True Story of the First International Flight by Balloon in 1785

3.73 (313 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

John Jeffries and his pilot, Jean-Pierre Blanchard, wanted to be the first people to fly from one country to another and set out on January 7, 1785, to cross the English Channel to France. All seemed to be going fine until Blanchard took a nap and Jeffries decided the balloon looked so fat it might burst. He took it, upon himself to open the valve to release some gas without waking Blanchard. Too bad he dropped the wrench over the side of the aerial car, and now, with no way to readjust the valve, the balloon began to sink. Jeffries and Blanchard threw as much as they could overboard...until there was nothing left, not even their clothes. Luckily they came up with a clever (and surprising) solution that made just enough of a difference to save the day.show more

Product details

  • 0-5
  • Hardback | 40 pages
  • 224 x 287 x 10mm | 422g
  • Farrar, Straus & Giroux Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Full color throughout
  • 0374329540
  • 9780374329549
  • 178,989

About Matthew Olshan

Matthew Olshan is author of the critically acclaimed picture book The Mighty Lalouche, also illustrated by Sophie Blackall, as well as the adult novel Marshlands. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland. Sophie Blackall is the author and/or illustrator of many acclaimed picture books, including The Baby Tree, and the adult book Missed Connections. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.show more

Review quote

"The baroque ornamentation and carefully lettered speech balloons of Blackall's spreads recall the work of George Cruikshank; like him, she has a gift for revealing that people dressed in petticoats and tricorne hats are just as human as the rest of us. With humor that's never snarky, Olshan reminds readers that, sometimes, the challenge adventurers must overcome is not the elements; it's their own vanity." --Publishers Weekly, starred review"Blackall's witty illustrations--which include full-page art and double-page spreads in color along with occasional black-and-white comic-panel strips; word balloons; and florid ornamentation--feel plucked from the time period. An author's note directs readers to Dr. Jeffries's firsthand account of the flight and reveals that portions of the book rely on Olshan and Blackall's creative adaptation of factual events." --The Horn Book, starred review"The illustrations vary from traditional to graphic novel-style at points, using panels and dialogue balloons. Olshan establishes suspense as the two encounter problems and danger during their voyage, and children will want to keep reading and learning more about this historic trip. An author's note discusses the true details incorporated in the story and explains the creative license taken....A delightful tale that will captivate elementary students with comedy, suspense, and beautiful illustrations." --School Library Journal, starred review"Here's a story ripe for booktalking: a pair of bickering, cheating, dissembling adults set off from England in a hydrogen balloon and land in France in their underwear. Olshan tosses in some speculation to enliven a tale that really requires little additional embellishment, but those basic facts hold up. . .The muted colors and teardrop-shaped speech bubbles of the illustrations suggest eighteenth-century satirical cartoons, and they're as droll as Olshan's text, capturing the seriocomic perils that forced the squabbling frenemies to pull in harness together. No references are included, but an endnote on the facts and fictions herein is entertaining and useful, making this a delightful 'sequel' to Hot Air (BCCB 7/05), Marjorie Priceman's '(Mostly) True' picture-book chronicle of the Montgolfiers' flight in 1783." --The Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books, starred review"Rarely has a story of a historic first been so silly. Olshan and Blackall together tell the somewhat fictionalized tale of American (then English) Dr. John Jeffries and French Jean-Pierre Blanchard's first international journey by balloon. . .Blackall's signature watercolor illustrations, in a vintage palette and full of old-fashioned details, amp up the levity with humorous comic strips showcasing the balloonists' over-the-top arguments, and depictions of the dogs' anguished reactions to their owners' egos." --Booklist The baroque ornamentation and carefully lettered speech balloons of Blackall s spreads recall the work of George Cruikshank; like him, she has a gift for revealing that people dressed in petticoats and tricorne hats are just as human as the rest of us. With humor that s never snarky, Olshan reminds readers that, sometimes, the challenge adventurers must overcome is not the elements; it s their own vanity. Publishers Weekly, starred review Blackall s witty illustrations which include full-page art and double-page spreads in color along with occasional black-and-white comic-panel strips; word balloons; and florid ornamentation feel plucked from the time period. An author s note directs readers to Dr. Jeffries s firsthand account of the flight and reveals that portions of the book rely on Olshan and Blackall s creative adaptation of factual events. The Horn Book, starred review The illustrations vary from traditional to graphic novel-style at points, using panels and dialogue balloons. Olshan establishes suspense as the two encounter problems and danger during their voyage, and children will want to keep reading and learning more about this historic trip. An author s note discusses the true details incorporated in the story and explains the creative license taken....A delightful tale that will captivate elementary students with comedy, suspense, and beautiful illustrations. School Library Journal, starred review Here s a story ripe for booktalking: a pair of bickering, cheating, dissembling adults set off from England in a hydrogen balloon and land in France in their underwear. Olshan tosses in some speculation to enliven a tale that really requires little additional embellishment, but those basic facts hold up. . .The muted colors and teardrop-shaped speech bubbles of the illustrations suggest eighteenth-century satirical cartoons, and they re as droll as Olshan s text, capturing the seriocomic perils that forced the squabbling frenemies to pull in harness together. No references are included, but an endnote on the facts and fictions herein is entertaining and useful, making this a delightful sequel to Hot Air (BCCB 7/05), Marjorie Priceman s (Mostly) True picture-book chronicle of the Montgolfiers flight in 1783. The Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books, starred review Rarely has a story of a historic first been so silly. Olshan and Blackall together tell the somewhat fictionalized tale of American (then English) Dr. John Jeffries and French Jean-Pierre Blanchard s first international journey by balloon. . .Blackall s signature watercolor illustrations, in a vintage palette and full of old-fashioned details, amp up the levity with humorous comic strips showcasing the balloonists over-the-top arguments, and depictions of the dogs anguished reactions to their owners egos. Booklist" The team behind the The Mighty Lalouche (2013) recounts the first international balloon journey, an expedition across the English Channel undertaken by a British doctor named Jeffries and a French balloonist named Blanchard in 1785. Tension arises even before the balloon leaves the ground as Jeffries discovers that Blanchard is plotting to exclude him from the trip. The two men cold-shoulder each other as the journey gets underway, but when the balloon starts to lose altitude, Blanchard s heroism turns them into friends and allies. (They re in their bloomers at the time, and Olshan keeps their rapprochement from getting too sentimental with a hilarious peeing scene.) The baroque ornamentation and carefully lettered speech balloons of Blackall s spreads recall the work of George Cruikshank; like him, she has a gift for revealing that people dressed in petticoats and tricorne hats are just as human as the rest of us. With humor that s never snarky, Olshan reminds readers that, sometimes, the challenge adventurers must overcome is not the elements; it s their own vanity. Publishers Weekly, starred review Olshan and Blackall (The Mighty Lalouche, rev. 5/13) present another quirky account of lesser-known history. In the year 1785 it seemed that everyone was flying, including an Italian a Scot a woman even a sheep. Dr. John Jeffries (born in Boston but considering himself an Englishman) and Frenchman Jean-Pierre Blanchard were determined to be the first to complete an international flight by crossing the English Channel in a hot-air balloon. The greatest challenge, as it turns out, was not the trip itself but the duo s cantankerous relationship. Verbal jabs ( You, monsieur, are no gentleman ), personal slights (intentionally taking off before Jeffries delivers his farewell speech), and sneaky tricks (the wearing of a lead vest to throw off cargo weight) are plenty and humorous. The voyage (apart from the pair s frequent arguments) is going well until the balloon overinflates, at which point Jeffries intervenes, causing the craft to dangerously descend toward the sea below. Jeffries and Blanchard work together to send sandbags, a violin, flags, and the pair s clothing (excluding underwear) overboard to lighten the load. They even pee ( every little bit helps ). Blackall s witty illustrations which include full-page art and double-page spreads in color along with occasional black-and-white comic-panel strips; word balloons; and florid ornamentation feel plucked from the time period. An author s note directs readers to Dr. Jeffries s firsthand account of the flight and reveals that portions of the book rely on Olshan and Blackall s creative adaptation of factual events. The Horn Book, starred review The illustrations vary from traditional to graphic novel-style at points, using panels and dialogue balloons. Olshan establishes suspense as the two encounter problems and danger during their voyage, and children will want to keep reading and learning more about this historic trip. An author s note discusses the true details incorporated in the story and explains the creative license taken....A delightful tale that will captivate elementary students with comedy, suspense, and beautiful illustrations. School Library Journal, starred review Here s a story ripe for booktalking: a pair of bickering, cheating, dissembling adults set off from England in a hydrogen balloon and land in France in their underwear. Olshan tosses in some speculation to enliven a tale that really requires little additional embellishment, but those basic facts hold up. . .The muted colors and teardrop-shaped speech bubbles of the illustrations suggest eighteenth-century satirical cartoons, and they re as droll as Olshan s text, capturing the seriocomic perils that forced the squabbling frenemies to pull in harness together. No references are included, but an endnote on the facts and fictions herein is entertaining and useful, making this a delightful sequel to Hot Air (BCCB 7/05), Marjorie Priceman s (Mostly) True picture-book chronicle of the Montgolfiers flight in 1783. The Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books, starred review Rarely has a story of a historic first been so silly. Olshan and Blackall together tell the somewhat fictionalized tale of American (then English) Dr. John Jeffries and French Jean-Pierre Blanchard s first international journey by balloon, from England to France, in 1785. The two blustery men and their dogs, Henry and Henri don t get along, but when their balloon starts sinking fast, they quickly concoct a plan. And what a plan! When dumping all their extra baggage (including their clothes) still doesn t do the trick, they decide to evacuate (their bladders). Those last few ounces are enough to get them aloft again, though their arrival in France is less than grand. Blackall s signature watercolor illustrations, in a vintage palette and full of old-fashioned details, amp up the levity with humorous comic strips showcasing the balloonists over-the-top arguments, and depictions of the dogs anguished reactions to their owners egos. Booklist" The team behind the The Mighty Lalouche (2013) recounts the first international balloon journey, an expedition across the English Channel undertaken by a British doctor named Jeffries and a French balloonist named Blanchard in 1785. Tension arises even before the balloon leaves the ground as Jeffries discovers that Blanchard is plotting to exclude him from the trip. The two men cold-shoulder each other as the journey gets underway, but when the balloon starts to lose altitude, Blanchard s heroism turns them into friends and allies. (They re in their bloomers at the time, and Olshan keeps their rapprochement from getting too sentimental with a hilarious peeing scene.) The baroque ornamentation and carefully lettered speech balloons of Blackall s spreads recall the work of George Cruikshank; like him, she has a gift for revealing that people dressed in petticoats and tricorne hats are just as human as the rest of us. With humor that s never snarky, Olshan reminds readers that, sometimes, the challenge adventurers must overcome is not the elements; it s their own vanity. Publishers Weekly, starred review Olshan and Blackall (The Mighty Lalouche, rev. 5/13) present another quirky account of lesser-known history. In the year 1785 it seemed that everyone was flying, including an Italian a Scot a woman even a sheep. Dr. John Jeffries (born in Boston but considering himself an Englishman) and Frenchman Jean-Pierre Blanchard were determined to be the first to complete an international flight by crossing the English Channel in a hot-air balloon. The greatest challenge, as it turns out, was not the trip itself but the duo s cantankerous relationship. Verbal jabs ( You, monsieur, are no gentleman ), personal slights (intentionally taking off before Jeffries delivers his farewell speech), and sneaky tricks (the wearing of a lead vest to throw off cargo weight) are plenty and humorous. The voyage (apart from the pair s frequent arguments) is going well until the balloon overinflates, at which point Jeffries intervenes, causing the craft to dangerously descend toward the sea below. Jeffries and Blanchard work together to send sandbags, a violin, flags, and the pair s clothing (excluding underwear) overboard to lighten the load. They even pee ( every little bit helps ). Blackall s witty illustrations which include full-page art and double-page spreads in color along with occasional black-and-white comic-panel strips; word balloons; and florid ornamentation feel plucked from the time period. An author s note directs readers to Dr. Jeffries s firsthand account of the flight and reveals that portions of the book rely on Olshan and Blackall s creative adaptation of factual events. The Horn Book, starred review The illustrations vary from traditional to graphic novel-style at points, using panels and dialogue balloons. Olshan establishes suspense as the two encounter problems and danger during their voyage, and children will want to keep reading and learning more about this historic trip. An author s note discusses the true details incorporated in the story and explains the creative license taken....A delightful tale that will captivate elementary students with comedy, suspense, and beautiful illustrations. School Library Journal, starred review Rarely has a story of a historic first been so silly. Olshan and Blackall together tell the somewhat fictionalized tale of American (then English) Dr. John Jeffries and French Jean-Pierre Blanchard s first international journey by balloon, from England to France, in 1785. The two blustery men and their dogs, Henry and Henri don t get along, but when their balloon starts sinking fast, they quickly concoct a plan. And what a plan! When dumping all their extra baggage (including their clothes) still doesn t do the trick, they decide to evacuate (their bladders). Those last few ounces are enough to get them aloft again, though their arrival in France is less than grand. Blackall s signature watercolor illustrations, in a vintage palette and full of old-fashioned details, amp up the levity with humorous comic strips showcasing the balloonists over-the-top arguments, and depictions of the dogs anguished reactions to their owners egos. Booklist"show more

Rating details

313 ratings
3.73 out of 5 stars
5 16% (50)
4 47% (148)
3 31% (97)
2 6% (18)
1 0% (0)
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