Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Balloon for Isabel, by Deborah Underwood (ages 4 - 7)

Do your children ever feel doomed by impossible rules? Or are they the sort who will do anything to come up with a creative solution? Isabel is a determined optimist. A Balloon for Isabel brought a smile to my face and brightened my day. This is perfect for a birthday or end-of-year treat, either for a sunny optimist or a little kid who needs some encouragement. It will bring sweet laughter, reminding us all that a little creative thinking will solve the prickliest of problems.
A Balloon for Isabel
by Deborah Underwood
illustrations by Laura Rankin
NY: Greenwillow / HarperCollins, 2010
ages 4 - 8
available on Amazon and at your local library
Isabel's school has a special celebration at the end of the year. Every child receives a special balloon on graduation day – everyone, except the porcupines. Isabel's teacher tells her that the porcupine's quills would pop their balloon, scaring the children. Instead, they’ll get a a lovely graduation bookmark.

In Isabel's eyes, that's "No fair." Isabel is angry and disappointed, but she’s also determined to figure out a way to get a balloon on graduation day. Isabel and her friend Walter, a fellow porcupine, try all sorts of solutions so their quills won't pop the balloons: wearing giant boxes, strapping pillows onto each other, and wrapping themselves in packing bubbles. Isabel finds the perfect solution when she sees a bowl of gumdrops. They're perfect to top her quills and make them pop-proof! Isabel is happy as can be, as is her teacher.

Deborah Underwood's writing flows naturally and smoothly, as she leads us through Isabel's plans to solve her problems. Laura Rankin’s illustrations are a joy. They are bright and expressive. She makes the most of the children's emotions, ranging from frustration and disappointment to determination and excitement.

Take a look at this sweet, funny book at HarperCollins' website:

The review copy was kindly sent by the publisher. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small percentage will go toward Great Kid Books (at no cost to you!). Thank you for your support.

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