Get Carried Away with Books!

The Great St. Louis Balloon Race, the oldest and most well attended balloon race, will be held September 19-20 in Forest Park. The Balloon Glow on Friday night will allow your kids to get up close to see the inside of the gondolas and speak with the balloonists! Before you go, stop by your neighborhood branch of the St. Louis Public Library to check out these titles and more. And remember, although the events are free, you don’t have to attend the race on Saturday afternoon to enjoy the view. Just look up to see the St. Louis sky sprinkled with balloons!


Max & Maddy and the Bursting Balloons Mystery, by Alexander McCall Smith
Max and Maddy Twist have a flair for solving crimes. When an eccentric balloonist enlists their help in finding out who is sabotaging a hot air balloon race, Max and Maddy not only take the case–they take to the air! But will they be able to find the culprit before their balloon becomes the next target?

The Mystery of the Hot Air Balloon, by Gertrude Chandler Warner
Benny wants adventure and finds it as he and the other Alden children help uncover the plan of those who would prevent ballooning from coming to Lloyd’s Landing.

Hot Air: the (Mostly) True Story of the First Hot-Air Balloon Ride, by Marjorie Priceman
The first “manned” hot-air balloon is about to take off! But what are those noises coming from the basket? Based on the (possibly) true report of a day in 1783, this is the story of (perhaps) the bravest collection of flyers the world has ever seen, as (sort of) told by a duck, rooster, and sheep.

How Do Hot Air Balloons Work?, by Buffy Silverman
Hot air balloons are huge and colorful. They’re lots of fun to watch. But how do they fly? And how do people control where the hot air balloon goes? Read this book to find out!

The Hot Air Balloon Book: Build and Launch Kongming Lanterns, Solar Tetroons, and More, by Clive Catterall
More than a century before the Wright brothers’ first flight, humans were taking to the skies in hot air balloons. Today, with basic craft skills, you can build and safely launch your own balloons using inexpensive, readily available materials. This book provides illustrated, step-by-step instructions for eight different homemade models, as well as the science and history behind them.


After reading books about balloons and how they work, kids can fly up, up, and away in their own paper mache hot-air balloon. The process takes a couple of days to dry, so start early. Thanks to First Palette for sharing this craft! See you in the air!


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