The book is written and illustrated by William Pene du Bois. It is the curious account of Professor William Waterman Sherman's unbelievable journey from a hot air balloon, to the volcanic island of Krakatoa, and then off the island in dramatic explosion. Along the way he is introduced to the unusual citizens of Krakatoa and their extravagant, unconventional mode of living. The story takes place during the popular balloon years of 1860 to 1890, and includes, "Just about every kind of free balloon travel known to man and...a few balloon inventions unknown until now."
If you have not read this book, I would strongly recommend it. It is quite accessible to children and adults alike.
William Pene du Bois not only wrote this wonderful story, but also illustrated it. Here are some of Mr. du Bois' fantastic illustrations:
After delighting in these lovely, retro-balloon-contraption illustrations, I sat down to let inspiration take me where it would. My end result was less like these, and more like, well, this:
And the moral is.