I never found a hardcover edition of the ninth book in the Freddy series, but this 1986 trade paperback works fine, the inside pages are from the original printing. I don’t care for the cover design and art, but you can’t have everything.

This is a fun story about Freddy, the Bean farm duck sisters Alice and Emma, and the adventurous spiders Mr. and Mrs. Webb in a runaway hot air balloon. The plot has a few elements that are a bit hard to swallow: that Mr. Golcher, the balloon owner, would send his balloon up with only talking animals aboard; and that when the gas release valve becomes stuck shut and Freddy has no way to get them down, the balloon balloon owner would then report his property stolen and also demand payment for it from Mr. Bean.

That aside, the balloon ride is entertaining, they meet an eagle on the way who has a little history with Freddy, and when they finally do get the balloon down, things become even more interesting. Freddy finds out he’s a wanted pig, and must use a disguise to get to his friends at the farm and Boomschmidt’s circus to help him out of his troubles, and some police officers are on his tail. Meanwhile, Alice and Emma discover their long-lost Uncle Wesley, who is not quite as brave and wise as they remember. The big finish has elephants in it, and another balloon ride.

Funny and clever, recommended.

Freddy and the Perilous Adventure by Walter R Brooks

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