PPBF: I Have a Balloon

I Have a Balloon

Written by: Ariel Bernstein

Illustrated by: Scott Magoon

Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books (September, 2017)

Suitable for ages: PreK -3

Themes/Topics:   sharing, not sharing


“I have a balloon.”

“You have a balloon.”

“I have a balloon.”

“That is a – big –  balloon.”

Brief Synopsis (from publisher’s website):

Owl has a balloon. Monkey does not. What will happen next? Hint: this is not a book about sharing.

Owl has a red balloon. Monkey does not. “That red balloon matches my shiny red tie,” says Monkey. “I’d look fancy walking to school with a shiny red balloon. The only thing I’ve ever wanted, since right now, is a shiny, big red balloon. It would make me SO HAPPY!” But Owl does not want to give it to him. So Monkey tries to find something that Owl wants: a teddy bear, a robot, a picture of TEN balloons. Owl does not want any of these things. But then, Monkey offers him…a sock!

Hmmmmm…Owl is intrigued. Will he trade his shiny red balloon with Monkey?

Links To Resources:

Play with a balloon! Here is a link to 11 fun balloon games.

Make sock puppets! Here is a link to crafting a super sock friend.

Eat ice cream cones! You’ll understand why after the last page.

Why I Like This Book:

Kids and their stuff. Littles can become ardently passionate about the oddest possessions, particularly when said items are desired by a member of the competition. Bernstein nails this dynamic perfectly in her dialogue-driven story. Magoon enhances the hilarity with quirked eyebrows, defeated slouches, and exasperated frowns exchanged between the main characters, Owl and Monkey. Packed with funny, charming and oh-so-insightful truths for parents and young readers alike, I HAVE A BALLOON is a lighthearted look at the process of negotiation when sharing becomes paramount.

My favorite line:

“All I can do with my balloon is hold it. All day. Just standing here, holding it.”

My deepest thanks to illustrator Scott Magoon who sent me this book after I entered his giveaway for subscribers to The Magoon Tribune. Kudos on the endpapers Scott – a really nice touch!

For a complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books hosted by the incomparable Susanna Leonard Hill.


About Cathy Ballou Mealey

Picture book addict and autism advocate, author, scone lover. WHEN A TREE GROWS (2019) @SterlingKids. Repped by Liza Fleissig @lizaroyceagency. Reach me via email at cmealey@post.harvard.edu or Twitter/Instagram @catballoumealey
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22 Responses to PPBF: I Have a Balloon

  1. mariagianferrari says:

    Just read this cute book!! I don’t have a balloon, but I have a ball 😉

  2. Great premise! Can’t wait to see it!

  3. Joanna says:

    Oo, I love it when there is a shout out to end papers. It sounds a little like an Elephant and Piggy story.

    • Cathy Ballou Mealey says:

      I think Owl, Monkey,Elephant and Piggie would all get along smashingly! Glad to know you are another end paper-checker Joanna. 🙂

  4. rnewman504 says:

    I am so looking forward to reading this book. Huge congrats to Ariel and Scott! The book sounds beyond adorable.

  5. Oh, a book about sharing. My great grandson is in that stage of not wanting to share. Gave him “Mine!” and it’s his favorite book. Know he love book too — great use of humor.

    • Cathy Ballou Mealey says:

      This would be a great book to add if he ever tires of “Mine!” 🙂 Such a “fun” age, right?

  6. Arrr this is a great book. Came across it last week. I loved the expressions in this.

    • Cathy Ballou Mealey says:

      Whooo knew an owl had so many expressions, right? 😉 I am so glad this book has reached your shores already Diane!

  7. I absolutely adore this book! It has a droll, deadpan humor that I just love. I need to go write a review of it myself. Love your feature of it!

    • Cathy Ballou Mealey says:

      Nice when the book is rich for the reader / parent as well as the child. I agree – has just the right amount of deadpan humor to make the story sing!

  8. Oh, this sounds hilarious! It’s now on my TBR list. Thanks!

  9. Cathy, this strikes such a universal chord. It takes quite a while before the -“If I have it – it’s mine, if I had it – it’s mine, If I see it – it’s mine, and of course it you have it – it’s mine,” grasp of reality changes. What a great book. Thanks.

    • Cathy Ballou Mealey says:

      Yes! You understand well the toddler mindset of ownership! Perhaps the sequel will reveal what happens next. Thanks for stopping by Maria!

  10. Sue Heavenrich says:

    oooh! a Sock! Well, I am certainly going to have to read this one!

  11. This sounds great! There can’t be too many books about sharing and this one looks funny!

    • Cathy Ballou Mealey says:

      I agree – humor goes a long way in getting a message across. Will Owl and Monkey discover that sharing is more fun? We will have to stay tuned! Thanks Andrea.

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