When the first piloted, untethered hot-air balloon flight in history took place over Paris in 1783, Sophie Blanchard was only five years old. Once the news of this revolutionary voyage reached her small hometown, however, the young girl’s heart was seized with a desire to fly that would change her life forever. Despite her fear of carriage rides and large crowds that limited her movements on land, Blanchard would grow up to become the first female professional aeronaut. Matthew Clark Smith’s poetic biography and Matt Tavares’s illustrations featuring evocative, sweeping skies bring emotion and intimacy to the story of a woman who achieved her dream of becoming Lighter than Air (Candlewick, $16.99). Ages 6-9.
Lighter Than Air: Sophie Blanchard, the First Woman Pilot - Matthew Clark Smith, Matt Tavares