Once Upon a Balloon

Bree Galbraith, Isabelle Malenfant (2013), Orca Book Publishers

A young boy, Theo, got a balloon from one of his cousins. Although he was told not to let it go, he accidentally did. When he let go, his family reinforced that they knew he wouldn’t be able to keep hold of it. Theo worried about what happened to the balloon and asked his mom, dad, and brother. His dad said it went to the moon to help hold it up, and his mom said it popped. But his brother’s story made the most sense to him, and helped turned around his feeling of failure into hope. Theo’s brother Zeke, through imagination and kindness, helps Theo understand the power of ingenuity and perseverance.

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Talk with a child about this book

How do you think Theo felt when he let go of the balloon?

What do you think about Zeke’s story of where the balloon went? Why do you think Zeke told him that story?

Why did Frank decide to finally build his robot?

When has someone encouraged you to do something that you thought was impossible?