Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Blue Baboon and the Big Balloon

Mostyn, S. (2014). The blue baboon in the big balloon. Self-published by Mostyn Books.

Children's Picture Book

I gave this book 3.5 out 5 stars on Goodreads.

Fun and funny illustrations make this rhyming "a-la-Seuss-style" picture book worth a look. Warning: kids might LEARN by reading this. I especially recommend it to be read aloud BY children (age 7ish, depending on strength of reader) with an adult on hand for guidance. Here's why. . .

I initially read this myself (actually, I read it to my husband), and I was hooked on the illustrations, but not so much on the text. Though the it does rhyme and pile-on, like a Seuss book, it lacked the lyrical sound you find when reading Seuss. I found myself editing out/in words of my own so that it flowed better, and I also was concerned about some of the vocabulary being well beyond the audience. And then I took the book to my seven-year-old niece. She's going into second grade and reading a little above grade level, and she also has a pretty broad vocabulary.

What a different experience reading this book with a child! What I heard were giggles from the silly rhymes and illustrations, and LEARNING going on! Those vocabulary words that concerned me? My little niece used the rhymes to figure out how to pronounce them (veranda, for example) and context clues to define them. We did have quite an interesting conversation about the definition of a mite. Some kids might get freaked out by the idea that mites exist and there's nothing to be done, but my niece just uttered an "ewwwww" and we moved on.

Her two complaints were that it was a bit long and that the mice liked fried rice (umm, she's seven).

If your kids like rhyming and silly adventure, they'll like this book.

Thank you to the author for providing me a free eBook copy in exchange for my honest review -- the only kind I give! 

Want to learn more about the author/illustration team? Go to their website or follow them on Facebook.  


  1. Awesome. I'm a total fan of books that build vocabulary. It actually makes me a little mad when people dumb down a book for a specific age group. The idea is to boost their understanding by context, right?

    1. Exactly! This one was fun since the author/illustrator team are parents that just did the book for their own kids.

  2. What a great reminder that books for kids are a totally different experience when read WITH a kid. Thank you for that wise insight - and for the advice on how to read this!

    1. You're welcome! It was really just an afterthought to have my niece read it with me, but I'm going to be sure to do that from now on. I can remember books I adored reading to my kids when they were little, and they were "meh." Best to try and read from the audience's perspective. Little kids LOVE Scaredy Squirrel books (me too), but the whole time I'm reading them with the kids, I am thinking about how much is flying right over their heads. But it's fine!