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Tired of the stress of being stuck in traffic, Madison Moon buys a hot-air balloon and takes to the skies.
But when everybody else decides to do the same, she goes back to her car, leaving them to fight for space in the wild blue yonder!
Living in Hamilton the kids are used to seeing hot air balloons in the sky and we are very fortunate to have an annual balloon festival too. When I saw Madison Moon and the hot-air balloon I knew that they would love it. I was right. It is now a favourite with all the kids.
The four year olds loved the storyline more than the younger ones probably because of the language used. It was Margaret Mahy style writing with the descriptive words. The words had a beat and rhyme which I found myself getting caught up with.
My home-based care kids and my own preschoolers all loved the different balloons. It was very cleverly done and there was often a second story being told by the balloons themselves. The children loved the shark balloon chasing the fish. My favourite was the police chasing the robber in his clearly identified balloon.
Even hours after I read the story the children were still discussing which was their favourite balloon. This book will fit in well when we do a balloon theme during Balloons Over Waikato and I will be recommending it to other home-based educarers and primary school teacher to read with their children.
My daughter was not as interested in having this book read to her when offered this against another book. The cover art didn't excite her. The hot-air balloon is big and red. My daughter said it wasn't exciting like a kiwi-shaped balloon. So this was the second book read for the evening instead.
Her initial concern that the story wasn't going to be fun quickly disappeared once we started reading. The illustrations once inside are really fun, bright and busy. The pictures themselves are quite arty, not clean lines but they suit the story.
I love that on some of the pages there are things hidden, so you can have a conversation about what you find. There are some really fun and funny things happening on the pages. This got my daghter in fits of giggles. She also loved the different shaped balloons once we got into the story.
The story itself is a nice tale about getting out of the rat-race. But I didn't rate the ending as much. I think it could have been a good way to introduce the idea of making environmentally sound choices about transport. But the opportunity was not taken up. Of course this didn't matter to my daughter at all. She really enjoyed the story, and didn't see the flaw in the ending that I saw.
In the end, all that matters is that she enjoyed the story and wanted to read it again. So of course we will be enjoying this book again and again.
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