Sunday, February 2, 2014

Please Bring Balloons

Title: Please Bring Balloons
Author: Lindsay Ward    
Illustrator: Lindsay Ward 
Publisher: Dial 
Publication Date: October, 2013  
Genre/Format: Fantasy/Picture Book 
GoodReads Summary: Every day can be an adventure. Especially if you bring balloons.

Ever wondered what it would be like to ride a carousel right off its platform?  As Emma discovers, all it takes is a handful of balloons and a very kind polar bear to show you the way.  This soaring story of friendship, between a carousel bear and the little girl who noticed him, will take readers to the arctic and back—in time for bedtime, of course—and remind them anything is possible.  Even flying. 
What I Think: I'm a huge fan of mixed media artwork in picture books but I'm also a huge fan of whimsical books which makes Please Bring Balloons a book I just love. I've always been a dreamer and imagining that a story like this might really happen is so fun. There's a piece of me that believes that these magical stories could really be true - maybe it's because I've read so many books and know the power of words to take us away into stories. I love being able to go along with Emma on her adventure.
     I absolutely adore the patterns and colors Lindsay chose to include in the story. There is such a distinct difference between the carousel, the balloons, the night sky, and the town Emma lives in. Readers can see the difference between all of these and notice how the story moves from day to night and from the boring, dull houses where Emma lives and the wonderfully magical night sky glittering with stars.
     Peanut loved reading this book, gasping and laughing with surprise. I love books that make you catch your breath when you turn the page and take in what you find there. I watched Peanut as he took in the illustrations and it was like I could see him imagining the illustrations to life. I'm not sure how else to describe it other than magical.
     This book was written for dreamers like me who believe that an adventure is waiting at every turn if we open our eyes and take a chance. As a mentor text, I love the possibility for this book to help kids generate ideas for stories. At the end of the book, the polar bear leaves Emma a new note that proposes another adventure. Kids could easily write that story or they might imagine other adventures Emma and her friend, the polar bear, might embark on. Because Lindsay gives us such an imaginative story to start with (two stories actually...), it helps readers start to let their own imaginations loose and to know that no story is to silly or fantastic. Kids have wonderful imaginations and encouraging that in their writing is important. I do believe that even though they are imaginative, it does help to get their brains revved up and ready to write. Please Bring Balloons is a perfect mentor text to springboard students into their own stories.
Read Together: Grades K - 3 
Read Alone: Grades K - 4 
Read With: Sleep Like a Tiger by Mary Logue, Goldilocks and Just One Bear by Leigh Hodgkinson, A Book of Sleep by Il Sung Na, You Are Stardust by Elin Kelsey
Snatch of Text:
"It was after midnight when the sky
opened with snow, each flake lightly
kissing Emma's nose as it fell.

It had been a perfect adventure."  
Reading Strategies to Practice: Activating Background Knowledge, Making Inferences, Making Predictions 
Writing Strategies to Practice: Description, Narrative, Alliteration 
Writing Prompts: Write about an adventure you would invite the polar bear to go on with you. 
Topics Covered: Adventure, Curiosity, Taking Risks, Trust 
I *heart* It:

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