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.
Forum rules
You must limit each topic thread in this section to only one book or only one series. Make the title of the topic the name of the book, and if possible also include the author's name. If you want to allow spoilers, you must include the word spoilers in the title of the topic, otherwise spoilers are prohibited.
Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 1066
Joined: 03 Sep 2016, 15:34
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2017 Reading Goal: 25
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 28
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 400
Favorite Book: <a href=" ... 665">Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban</a>
Currently Reading: The Sleepwalker
Bookshelf Size: 256
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: A Boss is as she Thinkeths. by Krishawn Terrell
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Official Review: James and the Birthday Balloon

Post by MarisaRose » 01 Oct 2017, 10:43

[Following is an official review of "James and the Birthday Balloon" by Nicola J Rowley.]
Book Cover
4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review

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
View: on Bookshelves

Like MarisaRose's review? Post a comment saying so!
"No two persons ever read the same book." -Edmund Wilson

User avatar
Mtsweni Nelsy
Posts: 140
Joined: 27 Apr 2017, 17:32
2017 Reading Goal: 24
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 8
Bookshelf Size: 21
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: "Health Tips, Myths, and Tricks" by Morton E Tavel, MD

Post 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:

User avatar
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 4201
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
2018 Reading Goal: 115
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 26
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 94
Currently Reading: End of the Last Great Kingdom
Bookshelf Size: 157
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: The Unfortunate Expiration of Mr. David S. Sparks by William F. Aicher

Post by kandscreeley » 02 Oct 2017, 11:51

It sounds like a cute story to me. I love the cover. Thanks for a good review.
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
― Ernest Hemingway

User avatar
Posts: 1
Joined: 02 Oct 2017, 11:59
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by jacob17 » 02 Oct 2017, 12:00

its awesome...

User avatar
Mercy Bolo
Posts: 874
Joined: 31 May 2017, 03:44
2018 Reading Goal: 48
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 37
Favorite Book: <a href=" ... 10262">The Wisdom and Peace of the Teachings of the Tao Te Ching</a>
Currently Reading: And Then I Met Margaret
Bookshelf Size: 143
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Too Late to Mourn by Christian Tyoder and Lynn Tyoder

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

Wonderful review. Even books with juvenile comment can be enjoyable.
"The minimum requirement for a dream is a safe place to lay your head."
~OluTimehin Adegbeye

User avatar
Posts: 312
Joined: 30 Aug 2017, 10:38
2017 Reading Goal: 50
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 30
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 56
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: The Key of F by Jennifer Haskin

Post 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.

User avatar
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 781
Joined: 16 Aug 2014, 06:17
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 123
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: The Transformation of a Lost Soul by Forrest Beverly

Post by kislany » 02 Oct 2017, 15:01

Oh, this is a lovely story and a great review.

wilson paul
Posts: 3
Joined: 28 Sep 2017, 23:37
Currently Reading: The Hayloft Girls
Bookshelf Size: 6

Post 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

Posts: 111
Joined: 19 Jul 2017, 07:37
Currently Reading: Apollo's Raven
Bookshelf Size: 16
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: "Heartaches" by H.M. Irwing

Post by 0719672189 » 03 Oct 2017, 04:42

A great book for children filled with great lessons, thank you for the great review.

User avatar
Bookshelves Moderator
Posts: 5408
Joined: 04 Mar 2017, 19:27
2017 Reading Goal: 400
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 45
Favorite Author: James Patterson
Bookshelf Size: 729
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: "Salome and Gogo visit Soweto" by Cora Groenewald
Reading Device: B00IKPYKWG
fav_author_id: 3251
Location: Lost in My Imagination

Post 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! ?
"Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude." -A.A Milne

"I am grateful for all the books that sparked my imagination." -Unknown

User avatar
Posts: 215
Joined: 12 Jul 2017, 09:51
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 80
Favorite Book: <a href=" ... 98700">The Swallow</a>
Currently Reading: Hillbilly Elegy
Bookshelf Size: 681
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: "Superhighway" by Alex Fayman
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU
Location: Rockville, MD

Post 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.
“In books I have traveled, not only to other worlds, but into my own.”
― Anna Quindlen, How Reading Changed My Life

Gifty Naa Akushia
Posts: 161
Joined: 28 Jul 2017, 11:00
Bookshelf Size: 18
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: "Tips, Myths and Rips: A Physician's Advice" by Morton E.Tavel
Reading Device: B00I15SB16

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

Good review I love the lessons this book renders to young readers.

User avatar
Posts: 91
Joined: 25 Apr 2017, 12:48
2017 Reading Goal: 6
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 33
Currently Reading: Tips, Myths and Rips: A Physician's Advice
Bookshelf Size: 30
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: "Roadmap to the End of Days" by Daniel Friedmann

Post by Nthabeleng » 05 Oct 2017, 15:38

lovely book, lovely review.

User avatar
Ashley Simon
Posts: 267
Joined: 08 Sep 2017, 18:44
2017 Reading Goal: 20
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 65
Currently Reading: Zero K
Bookshelf Size: 142
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: "Bible Answers" by Roseline Gaston Rabouin

Post 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!

User avatar
Elle Howard
Posts: 218
Joined: 12 Aug 2017, 15:46
2017 Reading Goal: 10
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 80
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 38
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: "Out of the Gulch Onto the Mountain Top" by Fred Civish
Reading Device: 1400698987
Location: Michigan

Post 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.
Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.
–Maya Angelou

Post Reply

Return to “Children's Books”