Ariel would love to be in the basket of Lucky Star on the day of the big balloon race against Bernard the Brave. Her mother, Carlotta the Great, is the best lady balloonist in America. But Ariel's parents think she is too young. Little do they know she is asleep in the Odds and Ends box when Carlotta the Great orders "Hands off!" and the balloon race begins. The thrills of Ariel's first ride in a hydrogen balloon come to life in this story based on a real ballooning family of the late 1800's. Carolyn Croll's pictures capture the pageantry and drama of the race, and will have readers rooting to the end for Ariel and her mother.