I Have A Balloon: 7 Reasons Why You Need this Book

It’s summer. For me, that means lots of long, lazy days. I have time to write and you better believe I have time to read. Recently, I was going through my picture book shelves and happily rediscovered one of my favorites from 2017–I Have a Balloon written by Ariel Bernstein and illustrated by Scott Magoon.

Apparently, I am not the only one in the world who loved this book.


★”This tightly paced narrative soars.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

★ “Big laughs through pratfalls & other physical comedy.” –Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)

A Junior Library Guild Selection 2017


Owl has a balloon. Monkey does not. What will happen next? Hint: this is not a book about sharing. “That red balloon matches my shiny red tie,” says Monkey. “I’d look fancy walking to school with a shiny red balloon. The only thing I’ve ever wanted, since right now, is a shiny, big red balloon. It would make me SO HAPPY!” But Owl does not want to give it to him. So Monkey tries to find something that Owl wants: a teddy bear, a robot, a picture of TEN balloons. Owl does not want any of these things. But then, Monkey offers him…a sock!

Hmmmmm…Owl is intrigued. Will he trade his shiny red balloon with Monkey?  

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So here’s the thing, reader. YOU NEED THIS BOOK. I have 7 credible reasons why.

Tammi’s Top 7 Reasons Why You Need to Own I Have A Balloon:

1. The story is told entirely in dialogue which gives you a fine opportunity to showcase both an owl voice and a monkey voice.

2. The story is presented in a matter-of-fact, classic kind of way that just feels so welcome and so right–kind of like a really satisfying bowl of soup. And who doesn’t enjoy a really satisfying bowl of soup?

 3. The characters’ expressions and body language convey a lot of valuable information. My personal favorite in all of this? Owl’s eyes. They tell you so much without saying a single word.

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4. You can easily relate to Owl’s situation, AND you can easily relate to Monkey’s situation.

5. The front jacket flap is one of the best I have ever read. It’s reason enough to own this book.

6. You will get caught up in the desperation and the drama.

7. It’s FUNNY.

Convinced? Good!

Oh. You probably should pick up the sequel while you’re at it. 🙂

Happy summer, everybody!



Congratulations, Beth Anderson! You won a copy of Nugget & Fang Go to School, and there’s nothing fishy about that.

Tammi Sauer

Tammi Sauer, a former teacher and library media specialist, is a full-time children's book author who presents at schools and conferences across the country. She has more than 30 published picture books and has many others on the way. Her books have received awards, earned starred reviews, made lists, been made into musicals, and been translated into many different languages. Most importantly, kids really like her books! To learn more about Tammi and her books, please visit tammisauer.com and follow her on Twitter at @SauerTammi.


  1. Yes. Yes, yes. This book is so great!! Thanks for sharing, Tammi!

  2. Looking forward to reading these books. Great synopsis and analysis Tammi!

  3. I will pick up both! Thanks, Tammi.

  4. Thank you, Tammi! Great recommendations. Enjoy your lazy summer days!

  5. Very fun. Thanks for showcasing Ariel’s books!

  6. Agreed! And I think the sequel is just as good, if not better than the original!

  7. These books look like a “must have.”

  8. Clever and funny! My kind of book.

  9. So great! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Thrilled to win a copy of Nugget and Fang Go to School! And thanks also for another great post!

  11. Can’t wait to read…both!!!
    Thank you!

  12. J. D. Silverwood

    I love this one! Thanks for highlighting it and sharing your thoughts!

  13. The sequel reminds me of the Pooh stories. A balloon on its way to the birthday party gets popped.
    I love the body language and expressions on the characters faces. On my list to check out.

  14. I love that it’s not a book about sharing 🙂

  15. Makes me laugh every time I read it. So funny!

  16. I love this kind of books. Short and witty. I love reading and writing books full with witty dialog. Very much in the style of I WANT MY HAT BACK by Jon Klassen.

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