Saturday, July 21, 2007

20. Hot Air: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Hot-Air Balloon Ride by Marjorie Priceman

Nonfiction book annotation
By: Angela Wilcox

40 pages

Priceman, M. (2005). Hot air: The (mostly) true story of the first hot-air balloon ride. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

Author Creditability: The book does not state where Marjorie Priceman got her information for this book. The book jokingly states that she heard it from a duck, but obviously she did not and had to do some type of research to get her information. We do know that she has written and illustrated several books that have won awards including the Caldecott Honor and the New York Times Best Illustrated Book award.

Summary: This is an informational picture storybook that tells the story of the Montgolfiers’ invention of the hot-air balloon. The book starts out at Versailles in France on September 19, 1783 where the first hot-air balloon ride is about to take place. It then starts a narrative from a duck, sheep, and a rooster who are the passengers of the first ride. It tells the story from their perspective and ends by stating that “The author heard this part of the story from a duck, who heard it from a sheep, who heard it from a rooster a long, long time ago. The end pages have a timeline that contains information on the Montgolfier brothers and their invention of the hot-air balloon.

Most Important Access Features: This book contains headings, inset text boxes, and a timeline at the back of the book.

Description of Illustrations: This book has wonderful illustrations. Marjorie Priceman has done another wonderful job with using watercolors and free flowing lines. The illustrations make the story throughout the book. While the animals are in-flight in the hot-air balloon there are no words, but the illustrations do a wonderful job of making the text for the reader.

Grade Level & Uses: K-3; I believe this book would be wonderful for talking about scientist, inventors, flight, and how hot air rises.

Standards: Science as inquiry; Science and technology

Related Texts & How Related: The following books could be used along with Hot Air: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Hot-Air Balloon Ride to talk about flying.

Three in a Balloon by Sara Wilson
Mouton’s Impossible Dream by Anik McGrory
First Flight: The Story of Tom Tate and the Wright Brothers by George Shea
First to Fly: How Wilbur & Orville Wright Invented the Airplane by Peter Busby

ALA Notable Children's Books
Bank Street Best Books of the Year
Caldecott Honor Book
CCBC Choices (Cooperative Children's Book Council)
Chicago Public Library's Best of the Best
IRA/CBC Children's Choices

Personal Response to Book: This has been one of my favorite books. I love the illustrations in this book and how Marjorie Priceman uses them to tell the animals’ story of flying in the hot-air balloon. I felt like she did a wonderful job of taking a topic that so many kids are interested and amazed by, but have no information on, and created an informational storybook to explain about the history of hot-air balloons.


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Allison Fielder said...

What a fun book. I think it would be a wonderfull tool to use to teach students about how stories become "watered-down" after they are told so many times.