If you’re looking to get your child interested in space, and help them imagine new and exciting places, The Great Balloon Hullaballoo, by Peter Bently, will go a long way to helping you do so.
The Great Balloon Hullaballoo is all about Simon the Squirrel, whose mum sends him to the shop. He has a very clear list and is told not to forget the cheese, because they’re having pizza for supper that evening. Simon heads off with his friend Rodney Raccoon.
They decide they should go to the moon, because everyone knows it’s made out of cheese. They jump into the lake, but when Bethany Bear laughs at them, they figure out that they need to fly to the moon. They trio do just that in Ol’ Uncle Somerset’s special balloon. At this point in the story, your child is mostly likely to start chanting balloon and pointing at it all the time – if not, you’re a lucky fish.
The trio fly off. A comet alters their path, and they find themselves shopping in outer space. Visiting various planets, meeting some aliens and stopping for snacks. In The Great Balloon Hullaballoo, Pluto is still a planet. They have a great time, head home and Simon discovers they forgot to buy something… the cheese. But his friends show up for dinner with some.
The illustrations, by Mei Matsuoka, are what really makes this story shine. Each planet they go to and each new species of aliens they meet are utterly distinctive. There are so many little details to pick out with each read. Which is very helpful when your toddler demands it five times in a row.
It’s another 5/5 from both Keiden and I on the rereading scale!
Do you have a favourite space adventure book that your little loves?
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