You Can’t Take a Balloon Into the National Gallery

This delightful picture book follows a girl, her little brother and her grandmother as they tour the National Gallery in Washington, D.C.  Little do they know that the girl’s balloon, left in the care of the photographer outside the Gallery, is leading the photographer, and a growing group of people on a chase around the Mall.

Readers will enjoy much about You Can’t Take a Balloon Into the National Gallery by Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman and Robin Preiss Glasser.  Glasser’s illustrations are wonderfully fun to follow – the main action is in color, while the rest of the illustration is in black & white.

Interestingly, the action outside mirrors the pieces of art the girl, her brother and her grandmother are enjoying inside.  The art pieces are pictures, inserted into the illustrations, so readers can easily identify them.

In addition, the sisters included famous people from American history throughout the book – people like Eleanor Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson and Martin Luther King, Jr.

So once you’ve enjoyed following the story, you can go back and study the art.  Then you can “read” the book again, looking for those famous people.  (Don’t worry if you can’t find them all, the sisters have included a helpful guide at the end of the book.)

I say “read” because the story is exclusively told in pictures – no words included.  So even the non-reader can enjoy this book over and over again.

Highly recommended for ages 1 and up

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