Book review: The Blue Balloon by Mick Inkpen. Celebrating 30 years.

30 years ago the now picture book classic, The Blue Balloon was first published. Mick Inkpen wrote and illustrated this magical tale that conjures up many memories for young and older readers. It’s a lovely read that captures childhood fun and imaginary play.

Publishers Hodder Children’s Book invited me to take part in the celebratory blog tour and I couldn’t refuse. I have shared many of Mick Inkpen’s books with lots of children, as a teacher and a mother, and each time the books have always been well received. We are fans of Mick Inkpen’s work and just like my daughter I am always in awe of authors who write and illustrate their own books.

The Blue Balloon 30th anniversary edition book cover shot

The Blue Balloon is based around a young boy and his dog Kipper who find a soggy blue balloon in the garden. At first it seems like an ordinary balloon but as they both continue to play with their new found treasure, they realise that this is a rather special balloon. As my eldest daughter describes, its a “magical” balloon.

Balloon found in the Blue Balloon

How ever they play with this balloon, squash it, squeeze it, stretch it, the balloon amazingly stays in tact. It even changes colour and shape! The descriptive language used to describe the balloon and all it can do is wonderful. The story appeals to children’s imaginations and highlights that much wonder can be found in everyday ordinary objects.

The Blue Balloon birthday edition

The balloon takes Kipper and his owner on a journey of fun, including high up in the sky. The selectively added fold out pages and flaps make this an even more engaging and interactive read and really add to the book brilliantly. This particular anniversary edition of the book includes special bonus material so would make a lovely gift for Kipper fans.

As well as the book being brilliant visually, it makes for a rather entertaining read aloud as parts are very funny. My girls are always rather mesmerised when we share this book and the 30th anniversary copy is a lovely addition to our home library.

Balloon Craft

As part of the blog tour I was also challenged to get crafty (which you know my girls and I love) with … a blue balloon.

Kipper balloon

With it being a special birthday celebration we decided to make our own wrapping paper with the help of our balloon.

Just like the balloon in the story we  squeezed, pressed, stamped and rolled our balloon in paint to get our desired wrapping paper and of course our chosen colour had to be blue.

Crafting with balloon making homemade wrapping paper.

The Blue balloon celebration blog tour

Adding to our wrapping paper we had to include Kipper in some way so we added a homemade stamp.  My little ladies decided that as it was a special birthday Kipper should be stamped in gold.

Homemade kipper stamp attached to balloon.

The girls enjoyed making their own wrapping paper and of course using a balloon for their arty work added to the fun. Also having long sheets of paper stuck down in a tuff tray (builders tray) helped with maintaining the mess.

Homemade wrapping paper using balloon and paint with kipper stamp.

To see what other participating bloggers got up to for the blog tour do head over to their blogs.

Kipper blog tour list

Disclaimer: I received this special edition copy of The Blue Balloon from the publishers. All words and opinions expressed are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

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