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Official Review: James and the Birthday Balloon

Please use this sub-forum to discuss both middle-grade and younger children's books, including picture books, easy readers, and children's chapter books. Topics for books aimed at children 12 and under go in this forum.

Official Review: James and the Birthday Balloon

Post Number:#1 by MarisaRose
» 01 Oct 2017, 10:43

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "James and the Birthday Balloon" by Nicola J Rowley.]

Book Cover
4 out of 4 stars
Review by MarisaRose
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James and the Birthday Balloon by Nicola J Rowley is a story about two young friends, James and Ruby. Ruby is having a birthday party, and James can’t wait to go celebrate and make his friend smile. For her birthday, Ruby gets a surprise birthday entertainer – a balloon artist! Both James and Ruby are given special, uniquely colored balloons. Unfortunately, Ruby loses her balloon and gets hurt trying to chase the big red balloon before the wind takes it and it floats out of reach. How will James manage to make Ruby feel better on her special day now that she lost her balloon and is also in pain?

The message in James and the Birthday Balloon is simple, yet important. Friendship, sharing, kindness and empathy are all well-developed themes in this picture book. Moreover, these themes are exuded by the main character, James, in a way that will easily resonate with young readers without the feeling that they are being spoon-fed an intended message. Lastly, the author smartly chose to center this story around a birthday party; typically, birthday parties are a relatable and easy to understand event for children to read about.

The illustrations in James and the Birthday Balloon are bright and colorful. Further, there is balance between cartoonish and realistic characteristics in each image, making the illustrations appealing yet also interesting for various ages. Each picture contains a good amount of detail to keep readers entertained and curious. Additionally, the children are depicted with realistic and understandable expressions. Even without the ability to read the words, children could easily understand the basic story simply by analyzing the illustrations and facial expressions of the characters on each page.

The language used throughout this story is simplistic, and the narrative is structured in short, manageable sentences. As early readers develop their skills, this is a book they could read on their own with little help needed from an adult. Further, the illustrations strongly correlate with the wording on the page, so readers may be able to infer more difficult wording with a quick examination of the corresponding illustration. There was only one instance where the language used may be confusing; this occurs when the ‘A&E’ is referred to. ‘A&E’ may not be commonplace for all readers; this should be spelled out as ‘Accident and Emergency’ to ensure all readers understand the abbreviation.

James and the Birthday Balloon checks many of the boxes of a successful picture book. The language is appropriate, the narrative is simplistic, the themes are important, and the illustrations are not only attractive but also aid in the development of the story. With only one minor criticism, I must rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. This book is most appropriate for early readers aged 2-5. Although this book could be fun for all, the content may be too juvenile for older readers to enjoy.

******
James and the Birthday Balloon
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Re: Official Review: James and the Birthday Balloon

Post Number:#2 by Mtsweni Nelsy
» 02 Oct 2017, 11:26

Hmm... :drool: , I think I should get the book for my 5 year old niece. Thanks for the review, it was very interesting, informing and beneficial. :tiphat:
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Re: Official Review: James and the Birthday Balloon

Post Number:#3 by kandscreeley
» 02 Oct 2017, 11:51

It sounds like a cute story to me. I love the cover. Thanks for a good review.
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Re: Official Review: James and the Birthday Balloon

Post Number:#4 by jacob17
» 02 Oct 2017, 12:00

its awesome...
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Re: Official Review: James and the Birthday Balloon

Post Number:#5 by Mercy Bolo
» 02 Oct 2017, 12:32

Wonderful review. Even books with juvenile comment can be enjoyable.
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Re: Official Review: James and the Birthday Balloon

Post Number:#6 by Mjgarrison
» 02 Oct 2017, 13:59

Thanks for the great review, I will have to get this book for the little ones in my life.
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Re: Official Review: James and the Birthday Balloon

Post Number:#7 by kislany
» 02 Oct 2017, 15:01

Oh, this is a lovely story and a great review.
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Re: Official Review: James and the Birthday Balloon

Post Number:#8 by wilson paul
» 02 Oct 2017, 22:55

Sincerely speaking, your grammar flow is exceptionally best...i like your rhythm in simplifying the book's content. All the best rose
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Re: Official Review: James and the Birthday Balloon

Post Number:#9 by 0719672189
» 03 Oct 2017, 04:42

A great book for children filled with great lessons, thank you for the great review.
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Re: Official Review: James and the Birthday Balloon

Post Number:#10 by Amagine
» 03 Oct 2017, 11:52

This sounds like a really good book for children! I love that a life lesson can be learned from something as ordinary as a birthday party.

Great Review! 👑
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Re: Official Review: James and the Birthday Balloon

Post Number:#11 by Zelinda
» 03 Oct 2017, 13:50

Thanks for the review. I love childrens' book with a moral that isn't overly dogmatic or overemphasized. Subtlety works with children, too. This looks like a giver for some of my grandchildren.
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Re: Official Review: James and the Birthday Balloon

Post Number:#12 by Gifty Naa Akushia
» 05 Oct 2017, 02:32

Good review I love the lessons this book renders to young readers.
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Re: Official Review: James and the Birthday Balloon

Post Number:#13 by Nthabeleng
» 05 Oct 2017, 15:38

lovely book, lovely review.
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Re: Official Review: James and the Birthday Balloon

Post Number:#14 by Ashley Simon
» 05 Oct 2017, 17:37

This sounds like a delightful read. I'll have to check it out for my students. Thanks for the review!
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Re: Official Review: James and the Birthday Balloon

Post Number:#15 by Elle Howard
» 08 Oct 2017, 16:25

It sounds like a great book for the little ones. It is never too early to learn about how to be a good friend. Nice review. I really enjoyed reading it.
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