Sebastian and the Balloon by Philip C. Stead

If there were a perfect escapist story for little ones, Sebastian and the Balloon would be it.

After determining that his little suburban street had “nothing to see”, little Sebastian embarks on a journey in his home-fashioned hot-air balloon, with the goal to “see something new for a change” β€” and what a charmingly magical adventure it turns out to be, with a quirky mix of genial companions that he meets along the way, including THE cutest trio of sisters, and thrills galore!

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Philip C. Stead’s illustrations have an endearingly fuzzy quality that perfectly mirrors the blurring of fantasy and reality that the details in the artwork imply, and which complements the story perfectly, particularly its wonderfully open-ended conclusion.

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While this will not be a problem for kids, grown-ups are advised to suspend their (let’s face it, boring) logic and simply revel in the untethered imagination of a boy who dared to set himself free, and who, thanks to an extraordinary storyteller and artist, has kindly swept us along on his flight of exhilarating fantasy.

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