Indiana University Bloomington

Conquest of the Skies: A History of Ballooning

Children's Literature

Ballooning Adventures of Paddy Pork




 Parley Title Page
Peter Parley. The Balloon Travels of Robert Merry and His Young Friends over Various Countries in Europe. London: J. Blackwood, 1857.

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Writing under the pseudonym of Peter Parley, Samuel Griswold Goodrich wrote many children's tales, textbooks and histories and edited several magazines, including The Token, Parley's Magazine, and Robert Merry's Museum.

As with many children's books about hot air balloons, Balloon Travels is a sort of travelogue, with descriptions of famous locations in Europe along with historical facts about them. Parley is here weaving moral instruction and a geography lesson into an adventure story.


Onkel Schwalbe Cover
Johannes Trojan. Onkel Schwalbe's lustige Fahrten mit dem Luftballon : ein komische Kinderschrift. Berlin: A. Hofmann & Co., [1865?].

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Bruno Cover
Jean Bruno. Aventures de Paul : enlev‚ par un ballon. Illustrations by J. Desandr‚. Paris: Bernardin-B‚chet, [1869].

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Manning Cover
Eliza F. Manning. Near and far in a cloud-land car. [England?: between 1883 and 1900?]

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Tells the story of different countries in the world as seen from a hot air balloon.


Twain Title Page
Mark Twain. Tom Sawyer Abroad. London: Chatto & Windus, 1894.

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Written as a sort of parody of Jules Verne-style adventure stories, Mark Twain puts Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn on an airship with a mad scientist for a journey that takes them to Africa and back.


Upton Title Page
Florence K. Upton. The Golliwogg's Air-Ship. New York: Longmans, Green, & Co., c1902.

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Florence Upton was a cartoonist, best known for her series of Golliwogg stories. The Golliwogg character himself was modeled on the blackface minstrel dolls that were common in the late 19th century. She and her mother, Bertha Upton, collaborated on this and others books in the series (there were thirteen in all).


du Bois Title Page
William Pène du Bois. The Twenty-One Balloons. London: Robert Hale Limited, 1949.

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Winner of the Newbery Medal for excellence in children's literature in 1948. It is the story of a professor who sets off in a balloon over the Pacific Ocean but due to an accident, lands on the island of Krakatoa. The island is populated by twenty families who share the wealth of a secret diamond mine. They have used their wealth to build elaborate houses and ingenious inventions. One such is Mr. M's Moroccan house, which has a living room in which the furniture is electrified like amusement-park bumper cars. When the volcano of Krakatoa explodes, the families and the professor escape on a flying platform held aloft by twenty balloons. As the platform drifts westward, the various families drop off and land in different countries to start new lives. The professor remains on board until the platform descends into the Atlantic Ocean. He is rescued and returns home, where he makes plans to build another balloon in which he can sail for a full year.


Goodall Title Page
John S. Goodall. The Ballooning Adventures of Paddy Pork. London: Macmillan Children's, 1981.

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A story, entirely illustrated and without words, of Paddy Pork, a pig who sets off in a balloon, saves another pig from the stewpot of some large angry apes, nearly gets swallowed by a whale when he and his companion get too close to the ocean's surface, falls overboard while trying to catch his hat and is almost attacked by three bears. He makes it safely home at last, where he is greeted by the king and a high church official.


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