Title Untitled [The Adventure of the Balloons in Upside Down Land]
Book Condition Fine
Seller ID 002913
Untitled collection of nine original watercolors that tell the story of juvenile balloons sold at a carnival and released into the air, where they find their way into "Upside Down Land". N.d., circa 1946, or in the immediate aftermath of World War Two. The order of the pictures telling the story -- there is no text -- is subject to debate, and one can not be certain that these illustrations represent the fully intended story, whether or not it was ever fully realized by the artist and storyteller. In any case, the balloons lose themselves with the manifold temptations of a candy shop. When outdoors, they are attacked by unsavory "balloon" monsters who puncture one of the balloons, who is then administered to by a balloon doctor who patches the hole. The balloons fly off rejoicing, and they dance a circle in the sky, Whether or not a complete suite of illustrations, there can be no denying the cleverness of the basic premise and the charm and skill by which the illustrations were executed. Not only is no published version of this story known, but also, there is no known story in which the concept of an "Upside Down Land" was used. An imaginary land is a commonplace in juvenile fiction, of course, but the ingeniousness of the Upside Down idea created here is that it allows for the illustrations to be viewed with equal appropriateness from top or from the bottom, and indeed, what is the top or bottom of the page is unanswerable, at least in six of the illustrations. The illustrations also capture a mid-twentieth century milieu superbly well. Nothing is known of the artist other than the name signed in one place, which is also not completely clear but appears to be Alberin. The watercolors are not all the same size but are generally about 27 by 20 cm.