A Voyage in the Clouds : The (Mostly) True Story of the First International Flight by Balloon in 178
By Matthew Olshan, Author & Sophie Blackall, Illustrator. A hilarious fictionalized retelling of the first international flight, which happened in a balloon. 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. For ages 4 and up.