I wasn't so sure about this book when we started. It's basically a long recount of a strange adventure by balloon to the island of Krakatoa just before it explodes - not a lot of dialogue or getting to know any of the characters, there's a whole lot of descriptive prose and the chapters are a little longer than I prefer in a read-aloud.
Despite all these potential drawbacks, Snowy enjoyed it. I thought he'd get caught up in all the weird and wonderful inventions the book's narrator speaks of but although he enjoyed hearing about them, where he really got involved was in the drama surrounding an escape from the Island. He had to listen from the safety of under- the- bedclothes, the suspense was so great!
It would be a fabulous book for a unit study. 1001 rabbit trails to follow with this one! Yet I was glad we were reading 'just' for pleasure and that Snowy and I had such a strange journey to return to each evening.