Hello, everybody! Our book today is Mathilda And The Orange Balloon, written by Randall de Sève and illustrated by Jen Corace. It tells the tale of a little sheep with big dreams, who finds that the power of imagination puts the impossible within reach.
Mathilda the sheep lives a very simple life in a very simple place: from her pasture, she can see green grass and a green barn, gray rocks and gray skies, and lots and lots of gray sheep. These sights are all she knows until one day, when a bright orange balloon floats by. Mathilda loves it, and declares that she is an orange balloon too, much to the disdain of the other sheep. They point out that she is nothing like the orange balloon, but Mathilda only smiles and asks them to describe it. Well, it’s round; no problem, Mathilda puffs out her wool until she is round. It can fly, they say, so Mathilda leaps into the air until she feels like she is flying. It’s orange, protest the sheep. What is orange?, Mathilda counters. Fierce like a tiger, warm like the sun, happy like falling leaves? Mathilda is all these things, too. And so Mathilda and the rest of the sheep realize that if you can imagine yourself as one thing, you can imagine yourself as anything, and the possibilities of your world are endless.
This was a sweet little story with a clever twist on imagination, especially it’s practicality. Mathilda’s wonderings are joyful, not only to her but to the sheep around her as well, who join in her musings on the nature of the orange balloon. It’s a nice message about how creativity can transform not just one person, but a community as a whole. The anime-inspired illustrations are just adorable, bringing Mathilda’s fantasies to quirky yet beautiful light. The length is perfect, and JJ really enjoyed it. This one was a delight, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!