The Twenty-One Balloons

21BalloonsCover

NEWBERY MEDAL WINNER – 1948

The Twenty-One Balloons

by William Pène du Bois

Age: 8 +

Interests: balloons, travel, inventions, inventors, science, adventure, volcanoes

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FArTHER

farther

GREENAWAY MEDAL WINNER – 2009

FArTHER

by Grahame Baker-Smith

Age: 5+

Interests: flight, inventors, fathers, flying machines

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The Glorious Flight

CALDECOTT MEDAL WINNER – 1984

The Glorious Flight: Across the Channel with Louis Blériot

by Alice and Martin Provensen

The Viking Press, 1983

38 pp.

Age: 5+

Interests: history, biography, inventors, airplanes, France

Next: science/invention biography – Snowflake Bentley; more about France in this era – The Invention of Hugo Cabret; artistic style – look up works by Henri Rousseau

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The Invention of Hugo Cabret

CALDECOTT MEDAL WINNER – 2008

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

by Brian Selznick

New York: Scholastic Press, 2007

533 pp.

Ages: 8 +

Interests: mystery, Paris,history, clocks, magicians, automata (robots), silent movie history, stories about orphans, inventors

Also by this author: Wonderstruck, The Houdini Box, The Robot King, Boy of a Thousand Faces

Next: silent movies by Georges Méliès; official website of the book; movie adaptation Hugo (2011)

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Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Released: 1968
Rated: G
Length: 144 min. (with an intermission at the 1:27 mark)
Age: 6 and up            Commensense Media sez: 6 +

Scary Factor: fantasy adventure story abounds in peril but all is exaggerated and cartoonish; the Baron and his spies are too bumbling to be truly scary; the Child Catcher on the other hand is extremely creepy, he’s the scariest thing in the movie, especially when he captures Jemima and Jeremy

Intense Scenes: all the children living underground is a rather pathetic sight, it stuck with me as a child; Caractacus and Truly posing as dolls is a bit suspenseful, but mostly amusing

Questionable Language: apparently Grandpa says “ass” at some point

Other Violence and Mayhem: the Baron and Baroness are pretty weird, especially the Baron’s sly attempts to do away with his wife, particularly during their cutesy song together before the party; in an earlier scene the Baroness is ejected high into the air, she floats gently down thanks to her large skirts and the Baron hauls out his shotgun and shoots at her! (the resulting holes in her billowing skirt bring her down quickly, and he expresses disappointment that he only hit her skirt!)

Interests: cars, inventions, magic, action, adventure, castles, scientists, inventors, spies, musicals

Next: Ian Fleming book Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (very different plot)
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Ug: Boy Genius of the Stone Age and His Search for Soft Trousers

Ug: Boy Genius of the Stone Age and His Search for Soft Trousers

by Raymond Briggs

London: Jonathan Cape, 2001

28 pp. – graphic novel

Age: 8 +

Interests: history, science, inventions

Also by this author: The Mother Goose Treasury, The Snowman

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All writings posted here are © Kim Thompson, unless otherwise indicated. For all artwork on this site, copyright is retained by the artist.