I adore the kinds of picture books that can be interpreted as either fantastically real adventures or dreams that didn’t actually happen but are flights of fancy instead. Either way, it’s magic.
Please Bring Balloons by Lindsay Ward is one of those books.
“It appeared unexpectedly.
Peeking out of the polar bear’s saddle, a hint of paper.”
The first page has the word “paper” in it. It’s a note from a carousel polar bear. And paper is also what makes the illustrations in the book so unique. They’re collaged and pasted together with bits of papery stuff—notebook paper, a doily, maps.
The carousel polar bear wants balloons to fly. To fly with the girl. To fly with the girl all the way to the North Pole to dance with other polar bears. (To rumpus with them, in a shout out to Where the Wild Things Are.)
It’s wild and magical, but my favorite line in the book is pretty down to earth:
“Emma was thankful she had worn her boots.”
(Wonder Bear by Tao Nyeu comes to mind as an excellent pair to this one. Both have that dreamlike quality and a fabulous white bear leading the way.)
Thanks to Lindsay Ward for the images!
So, balloons!! A polar bears says, bring ’em so here they are!
My first stop for balloon inspiration has got to be Studio DIY.
She decorated O shaped balloons to look like donuts. With sprinkles! How happy are they (and us)?
This is a pretty way to paint balloons that even I could do. (I think.)
DIY Fruit Balloons from Oh Happy Day.
How cool would it be to have these balloon lamps?
This balloon art installation in the Netherlands in 2012 is pretty wonderful.
And Daisy Balloon‘s balloon dresses? Out of this world.
Bjork wore one once. I rest my case.
My turn. For my latest birthday, my dude, who is kind of a balloon guy, surprised me this way. (Now you know my age and what my bed pillows look like.)