One day at the carousel, Emma notices a folded note peeking out of the saddle of the polar bear:. “Please bring balloons” it reads, in text and doodle. While Emma wonders why the carousel polar bear needs a balloon, she’s happy to help, leaving a polka dot balloon tied to the bear’s saddle. She even thinks she sees the polar bear give her a tiny smile. When she returns the next day, another note: “Bring more balloons!” Emma happily complies, and when she does, she and the polar bear lift off into the air, buoyed by their magic balloons, and head off on an adventure together. Where are they going? What will they see? It all depends where the balloons take them.
This was a very sweet book. The story is very simple, but it’s charming nonetheless, and is a great celebration of the magic to be found in everyday things; it inspires the sort of imagination that makes one look at a carousel animal and wonder what enchantment it holds, and I love that. The art is the star of the show here, with gorgeous mixed-media illustrations that are equal parts realistic and fantastic, and fit the theme and atmosphere of the story perfectly. The length is just right, and there’s a stellar fold-out page that lit JJ’s eyes up. Overall, we both really liked it. This is a perfect story for the curious, the adventurous, and the dreamers, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!