Friday, August 29, 2014

The Great Balloon Hullabaloo by Peter Bentley

Out of this world picture book, The Great Balloon Hullabaloo by Peter Bentley had me at the word, "hullabaloo." Uproar and adventure are central to the story that takes a simple shopping trip into outer space. When Simon the Squirrel is sent to run errands for his mother, he decides to look for one of the items on the list at a much more exciting place than the corner store--the moon! Mama Squirrel is making pizza and she needs cheese. As everyone knows, the moon is made entirely of cheese so Simon and his woodland friends plan to tap its unlimited resources. The hullabaloo starts when the intrepid friends attempt to jump to their destination but end up soaked and disheartened in a pond. Old Uncle Somerset offers up his air balloon and the woodland creatures hit the interstellar highway. They pick up other items on the list at stops on Saturn (for underpants) and Uranus (for toilet paper). The moon, however, proves to be an illusive target and the friends are in danger of returning home with cheese. How will they ever explain their failure to Mama Squirrel? No worries as the book has a satisfying conclusion that leaves everyone with full bellies. The rhyming text and whimsical illustrations make this an irresistible read aloud to share a favorite young explorer. More silliness and expansive vocabulary words can be found in The Great Sheep Shenanigans by Peter Bentley. For another picture book featuring an imaginative approach to running errands read The Red Wagon by Renata Liwska.

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