One evening in November 1782, the Frenchman Joseph Montgolfier has an idea after having seen a small paper bag sent whirling into the air by the warm air in the fireplace. If a small bag can take off with warm air, surely a big bag could do the same, couldn't it? Perhaps a bag big enough to carry people? Together with his brother Étienne, he gets to work with trials and experiments.
The Royal Academy of Sciences in Paris soon comes to hear of this. They will not have two simple sons of a paper factory owner taking the credit for something they have been trying to do themselves in vain for several years, and a race is soon on. A race that will include Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, as well as a duck, a cockerel and a sheep.
‘… a book which teenagers and adults can enjoy as well, both funny and educational at the same time. Rui Tenreiro's drawings balance nicely between light humor and factual accuracy, and thus match the text perfectly.’
‘… An impressive element of the book is the array of beautiful comic book style illustrations by Rui Tenreiro… The illustrations support the text and help to simplify the more complicated elements.’
‘The story itself is exciting and told in an amusing style, and the book's large format allows the wonderful illustrations, in all their brightly coloured glory, to really shine through. There is so much to talk about here – this book works marvellously when read aloud.’