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A Balloon for Isabel Hardcover – April 27, 2010
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From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 2—On graduation day, every animal will receive a balloon—except for Isabel and Walter, because their quills don't mix well with inflatables. Their teacher promises them each a special graduation bookmark, but the young porcupines long for balloons. Iris sets out to design the perfect apparatus to shield their quills, and after several tries, she finds the perfect solution. Illustrations full of color and personality add to the story's depth and appeal. Authentic dialogue, a touch of humor, and Isabel's ingenious invention make this tale of desire and determination a keeper.—Amanda Moss Struckmeyer, Middleton Public Library, WI
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
In a cheerful school of possums, raccoons, and other woodland creatures, porcupines are left out on graduation day. While everyone else gets a bright, buoyant balloon to hold, the porcupines get bookmarks. A porcupine named Isabel tries to get around this school rule with her friend Walter, but their teacher, Ms. Quill, stands firm; a popped balloon might scare someone. Rankin's animal illustrations are wonderfully expressive and make the most of Isabel and Walter's comically doomed efforts: wearing a quill-covering box (but then you can't get through doorways), strapping pillows onto each other (but quills shred pillows), and wrapping Walter in packing bubbles (“But the other kids tried to pop him”). On the night before graduation, Isabel sees the solution in a bowl of gum drops. Isabel bursts through the classroom door, her face glowing and each of her quills topped with colorful beadlike objects. Her porcupine pals happily adopt her look, and the final page reveals Ms. Quill, a grown-up porcupine, in all her gumdrop glory. Underwood's story is entertainingly told and sweetly satisfying. Preschool-Grade 1. --Abby Nolan
Top customer reviews
This is one of the few books for children that I instantly loved. After each page you just want to turn the next one because you absolutely want to know. I could not wait to share this delightful and fun story with my girls to see their reactions.
It was a complete success, they loved it. It always makes me happy when it is the chosen book of the evening. I enjoy reading it again and again and my girls enjoy hearing it again and again. Every time we get excited, Isabel just makes us think, smile and laugh and every time we talk about a different aspect of the story. The children can easily relate to the characters and the story.
The text is beautifully written, fun and the twist at the end is priceless.
The illustrations are happy and beautiful. They go so well with the story.
This is a must-have book and a must-offer book.
Thank you Deborah and Laura for your beautiful book.
The happy outcome for Isabel ought to encourage children to keep searching for solutions to problems even when their first attempts don't work out. The sweet solution will delight everyone.