Regular readers will know just how much I love books and how passionate I am about encouraging the children to enjoy them too. It’s never too early to introduce children to books and as a family there is no such thing as too many! Books and reading play big part of our life and I am always looking out for new titles to share with Leo, so when children’s author Nicola J Rowley asked if we would like to read and review her latest publication there was no hesitation to say YES!
We were sent a copy of James and the Birthday Balloon which is Essex born Nicola’s second children’s book. Aimed at 3-7 year olds this book is perfect for pre school and early readers. With her debut book James and the Amazing Gift gaining rave reviews online I had high hopes for James’ second adventure.
This book sees James attend his best friend Ruby’s party where having been given a balloon each, birthday girl Ruby accidently lets hers go. Running after it, and not watching where she is going, poor Ruby trips and hurts herself resulting in a trip to the hospital. A daunting and potentially scary experience for any child Ruby is comforted by her parents and the medical staff but it’s not until her best friend James arrives that she manages to smile again.
This is a really positive and uplifting story. James is such a likeable character always smiling and able to bring cheer to others – he actually reminds me of Leo who always has a smile on his face! James is a real caring and supportive friend to Ruby during such an upsetting time. His kindness and thoughtfulness send a fantastic positive message to readers, showing them what it means to be a good friend. The story also helped me to reinforce to Leo the importance of watching where you are going, something I think most children tend to forget when they are running around excitedly!
The illustrations are bright and colourful and do a fantastic job of portraying the emotions of the story. The font is fairly large, and the language used not too complex making it ideal for those that are learning to read by themselves.
Leo thoroughly enjoyed this book and we talked at length afterwards about the feelings and emotions in the story and what a great friend James had been to Ruby. He was also very excited when he noticed that Nicola had signed the book for him – hopefully the picture conveys just how thrilled he was!
The book also has a QR code in the back cover which enables you to download a free audio book read by none other than Dr Ranj himself – regular readers will know Dr Ranj is one of Mummy’s guilty pleasures!
Also, for every copy of James and the Birthday Balloon sold £1 is donated to help support the work of Evelina London Children’s Hospital who provide care and life-saving treatment, a cause supported by Dr Ranj having personally worked at the hospital himself.
Leo and I would highly recommend this book, we have really enjoyed reading it together and it’s a fabulous addition to our bookshelves. Massive thank you to Nicola for sending us a copy of this wonderful book.
James and the Birthday Balloon is available to buy from Amazon (RRP £7.99)
We were sent a copy of this book in return for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.