The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet

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The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet
Front cover of the first edition[1]
Author Eleanor Cameron
Illustrator Robert Henneberger
Cover artist Henneberger
Country United States
Series Mushroom Planet[1]
Genre Science fiction, children's literature
Publisher Little, Brown and Company (Atlantic Monthly Press)[1]
Publication date
September 1954[1]
Media type Print (hardcover)
Pages 214
OCLC 166449
LC Class PZ7.C143 Wo[2]
Followed by Stowaway to the Mushroom Planet

The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet is a children's science fiction novel written by Eleanor Cameron, illustrated by Robert Henneberger, and published by Little, Brown in 1954. It is set in Pacific Grove, California, and on Basidium, a tiny habitable moon of Earth, invisible from the planet in its orbit 50,000 miles away. The "Mushroom Planet", visited by the protagonists David Topman and Chuck Masterson, is covered in various types of mushrooms and is populated by little green people who are in a state of distress.

The Wonderful Flight was published under the Atlantic Monthly Press imprint of Little, Brown[1] in September 1954, and it received a starred review from Kirkus.[3]

Plot summary[edit]

When two boys find an ad in a newspaper asking for two young boys to build a spaceship, they quickly construct one out of old tin and scrap wood, and bring it to the advertiser. This man is the mysterious Mr. Tyco Bass, an inventor and scientist. Using his marvelous stroboscopic polarizing filter he shows the boys a previously undetected satellite of the Earth, which he calls Basidium-X. He refits their spaceship, giving them some special fuel he invented to power it, and tells them to fly to the mushroom planet (after getting their parents' permission). He warns them that their trip will only be successful if they bring a mascot.

When it is time for launch, they grab David's hen, Mrs. Pennyfeather, at the last moment for a mascot, and rocket into space. They find Basidium-X to be a small, verdant world covered in soft moss and tree-size mushrooms. They quickly meet some residents of the mushroom planet, small men with large heads and slightly green skin, of the same people as the mysterious Mr. Bass. They tell the boys that their planet has had a crisis and that everyone is slowly dying of a mysterious sickness. The boys meet up with the king of the planet, the Great Ta, and end up solving the natives' problem, before returning to Earth.

Other editions[edit]

  • Viaje Maravilloso Al Planeta de los Hongos (1965), Spanish language edition
  • Scholastic (1966), paperback
  • Joy Street / Little, Brown (1988), paperback; cover by Peter Sís
  • Little, Brown (1998); cover by Kevin Hawkes
  • Little, Brown (2003); cover by Steve Vance


  1. ^ a b c d e "Series: Mushroom Planet". Internet Speculative Fiction Database ( Retrieved 2016-09-16. Select a title to see its linked publication history and general information. Select a particular edition (title) for more data at that level, such as a front cover image or linked contents.
      The cover image of the original dustjacket at ISFDB includes the spine, which displays "Atlantic Little, Brown".
  2. ^ "The wonderful flight to the Mushroom Planet" (1st ed). LC Online Catalog. Library of Congress ( Retrieved 2016-09-16.
  3. ^ "The Wonderful flight to the Mushroom Planet by Eleanor Cameron" (starred review). Kirkus Reviews. Contemporary review undated in the online archive. Retrieved 2016-09-16.