Sebastian and the Balloon by Philip C. Stead is a story full of adventure and extraordinary characters. Sebastian is bored so he builds himself a balloon from afghans and quilts and flies away. The people and animals he meets are wonderful and make this story travel right along.
I love the phrase, "when the wind picked up," it reminded me of Mary Poppins and the changing of the wind direction. I love how Sebastian and his friends just take things as they come and make things better and fix stuff along the way and just keep going. I love that the pigeons fly to the leafless tree to keep it company.
The artwork for this book was created using pastels, oil paints, and pressed charcoal. You can read about Philip's art process here, at Jule's Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast Blog. It's a fascinating read, I recommend taking the time to read and watch it.
I suggest reading this story with Second graders and older students. It will be a great story to generate a discussion about being bored, traveling, meeting new people and having a great attitude like Sebastian has about life.