Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Grab a Balloon-Monthly Challenge

     Two years ago, my husband and I celebrated out 45 wedding anniversary with a party. 

My then 3-year-old granddaughter asked,"Grammy, are there going to be balloons?" 

I couldn't resist that request. Children and balloons just go together. Your challenge is to let 

your imaginations fly up, up, and away. Write a story about a balloon.  

     One of my all time favorite balloon stories is the classic The Red Balloon by Albert 

Lamorisse. Pascal and the balloon are best friends. The story is told in photographs taken 

from the movie. Devoted to each other, they face dangers together to protect their 

friendship. The magical ending is very satisfying. 

     Another favorite of mine is Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm by Jerdine Nolan. This tall 

tale bursts with magic and mayhem. Harvey Potter grew balloons. No one knew exactly how 

he did it, but with the help of a full moon, a child catches a peek of how it's done.

      Now for a book that brings me to tears every time I read it, The Remember Balloons 

by Jessica Oliveros.  This tender story explains memory loss that comes with aging and 


     Here is an interview with Jessica about her inspiration for the story.

      Bird, Balloon, Bear by Il Sung Na is a sweet story about courage, kindness, and friendship.

Bird is very shy and looking for a friend. Just when Bird gets up his courage to talk to Bear--Bear

meets Balloon.  Is it too late for Bird?

     And last but not least, A Voyage in the Clouds: The (Mostly) True Story of the First 

InternationalFlight by Balloon in 1785 by Matthew Olshan. 

     John Jeffries, an Englishman, and his pilot, Jean-Pierre Blanchard, a Frenchman, want 

to be the first to fly between countries. On January 7, 1785, they set out to cross the English 

Channel to France in a balloon. 

     All seemed to be going fine, until the balloon begins to sink. Jeffries and Blanchard throw 

as much as they can overboard―until there is nothing left, not even their clothes. They 

come up with a clever (and surprising) solution that saves the day. 

     And for just a little more inspiration--here is the 5th Dimension singing about their beautiful

balloon.  Fly with your beautiful balloon story. Happy writing.


  1. Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon! Great set of ballon books culled by you, Janie. Interesting that there are so many different ways to present one idea. Ty for this post.

  2. Love this floating-in-the-clouds, bringing-smiles-to-faces selection! To this awesome list I'd add Balloons over Broadway. Thank you Janie!

  3. Another great recent balloon story is I HAVE A BALLOON by Ariel Bernstein. It has a lovely message about sharing.

  4. I don't know what made me check out this post, Janie...probably my feeling of guilt for not participating in ReFoReMo at all this year. :( But I'm so glad I did. First of all, what a fun challenge. I just may have to try my hand at it. But more than that, I love all the books you've suggested. There is another out there...Up and Away: How Two Brothers Invented the Hot Air Balloon...and in 2020, there will be another because I have a similar story (The Boys Who Dreamed of Flying) that will be part of my big compilation bio book from HMH with the 9 nfpb bios of visionaries who invented things that move. And I absolutely love THE REMEMBER BALLOONS!

    1. Congratulations, Vivian! You rock! Looking forward to your book!

  5. Janie, There are also two of my favorite balloon books from Phillip Stead - Sebastian and the Balloon and A Home For Bird. What a fun challenge. Glad I saw the post. Thank you.

    1. You are welcome. Thanks for adding to the list!

  6. what fun! I am off to look for balloon seeds so I can have my very own balloon farm.

  7. Thank you, Janie, for the high-flying challenge! I've read some of these books and will check out the others.

  8. That's a hilarious cartoon! So many different "faces" for balloon stories. You've got me thinking about one of my own that I've put in the drawer and need to pull out and revise.....Thank you!

  9. Thanks for all these balloon book titles, Janie - I have some reading to do (and perhaps writing, too)!

  10. I cannot wait to read about how cows grow balloons. What an inspiring challenge. I'll take it.
    Patricia mentioned Balloons over Broadway. My sister loves the parade. I got a gift idea for her birthday this month.

  11. Who doesn't love balloons?
    Thanks for this interesting list of balloon stories, along with the intriguing story idea.

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