Joseph Taylor, children's science and biography writer. Illustration by Alen Halj.

    'Flying Balloons'


    "Not only did they finish in time, but Étienne took the opportunity to add a wicker basket to the new design. This aerostat would carry passengers—animal passengers, to be precise! No living thing had ever flown in a machine. No one knew whether it was even possible for living creatures to endure the air at a high altitude. Étienne felt it was time to try."


    (From "Flying Balloons: The Story of the Montgolfier Brothers" by Joseph Taylor, Cricket magazine, April 2008.)

    Cover ilustration courtesy of Cricket magazine, © 2008 by Stephen Costanza.

    Writing Biography


    I contribute stories about pioneering scientists and artists to the children's literary magazine Cricket and, more recently, to its sister publication Muse. My latest pieces include "The Path to the Moon: The Story of Katherine Johnson," which appears in the July/August 2019 issue of Cricket, and "The Bird-Herding Bot," in Muse's October 2019 issue. "Mammoth Return? The Steep Path to De-extinction" appeared in the October 2018 issue of Muse. I have a new educational book coming in 2020, "Dancing Through Darkness: The Story of Alicia Alonso," illustrated by Jani Orban.


    Email Joseph Taylor at


    Contribute in Some Way

    Find a way to make a difference. Support one of the children's literacy organizations listed inside or give something meaningful where you can (as Joe's mother recently did here with pencils and school supplies in Kenya).

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