Monday, May 10, 2010
Review #68: Mathilda and the Orange Balloon
Dad: Today we are looking at "Mathilda and the Orange Balloon" by Randall de Seve, illustrated by Jen Corace.
Lily (age 7): This book is about balloons.
Isaac (age 11): And imagination.
Lily: Imagination and balloons.
Dad: Do you guys remember who Jen Corace is?
Gracie (age 9): She illustrated Little Pea, Little Hoot, and Little... um... Pig.
Isaac: She's back. And cooler than ever.
Dad: Who is the star of this book?
Isaac: The book is about this sheep who has a huge imagination.
Gracie: Mathilda is the sheep. Mathilda is kind of a weird name for her. It sounds like a boring name, even though she is fun.
Dad: You think the name "Mathilda" sounds boring?
Gracie: It sounds like a name you would give one of those really proper stepmothers that live in the big mansions.
Isaac: It sounds like a name from Anne of Green Gables.
Gracie: I think the sheep's name should be "Marshmallow."
Lily: Mathilda saw a big, orange balloon. And she wanted to be one. But all the other sheep said, "You can't do that, because... we are boring - that's why. Sheep are boring, so you are not allowed to turn into an orange balloon."
Isaac: She changed their minds by proving them wrong. By turning into a big rubber round thing. And turning colors. And turning fluffy.
Gracie: She imagined all the things that balloons look like. Round, flying, and orange. So when the sheep say, "A balloon is round," all of a sudden Mathilda is like - POOM! And she is round. Then the sheep say, "And it flies." And she says, "Like this?" And then she's 15 feet off the ground. And when they say "orange," she turns into a freaky tiger and all the sheep freak out.
Lily: You said "freak" two times.
Dad: Was she really doing these things, or was she imagining them?
Gracie: I hope she was really doing it. Because that would be funny.
Isaac: It would be funny if it really was happening, and then right when she turns all big, round, and fluffy and started floating, the farmer opens up the door!
Gracie: She is a balloon. A freakishly strange balloon.
Isaac: She has an orange imagination of fun.
Lily: And all the other sheep turn into flowers, bees, buses, and even sailors!
Isaac: Actually - it just occurred to me... When she turns into the tiger, all the other sheep are cowering. So it must be real.
Dad: Or maybe they also got caught up in her imagination... Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever gotten swept up into someone else's imagination?
Gracie: Yeah! That happens a lot.
Dad: Think of movies even. Other people just make them up, but you get caught up into the story and for a while you feel like it's real.
Gracie: I had to stop watching a movie. Right in the middle of "2012," it scared me half to death.
Isaac: Like "Signs" did for me. That's the first scary movie I ever watched. I did not expect that.
Dad: So maybe all the little lambies had to stop in the middle of Mathilda's orange tiger story because it scared them half to death.
Gracie: Ha ha!
Isaac: Did you see that tiger's teeth! They look like huge bent up needles! Look at them!
Gracie: They are so shocked. Look at their faces.
Dad: So, do you guys have good imaginations?
Gracie: I don't want to toot my own horn...
Dad: I don't know, (sniff)... I think I just heard Gracie's horn toot. Or... something tooted over there...
Isaac: Ha ha ha ha HA!
Lily: Grammy always says to me, "You have such a good imagination."
Gracie: Dad, you are most like the old sheep.
Dad: Why? Because I'm old?
Dad: Because I'm gray?
Dad: Because I'm poofy?
Kids: Ha HA HAH ha ha!!!
Gracie: No - because sometimes instead of letting us have fun, you make us clean the living room.
Dad: Well, just use your imaginations! Maybe you can make clean-up fun! Now, do you guys ever do what Mathilda does? Do you ever imagine you are some other thing?
Isaac: Hmmm... I'm trying to think.... what's the weirdest thing I've ever pretended I was.
Gracie: Oh! Oh! Remember. Just last night you were pretending to be--
Isaac: NO!!! NOT THAT!!! DON'T SAY IT!!!
Gracie: UNDERWEAR MODEL!!!
Isaac: NO NO NO!!!
Gracie: UNDERWEAR MODEL!!!!
Dad: Alright... I know what picture I'm drawing for the review...
Gracie: Isaac the underwear model!
(Laughter by all)
Isaac: It was pajama pants.
Dad: How about you, Lily -- Do you ever pretend to be something funny?
Lily: Yes. A bird. I make a nest out of blankets, and I pretend I'm a bird.
Gracie: Sometimes I wish with all my might that I could be small enough to fit into Polly Pocket clothes.
Dad: Be careful what you wish for!
Author: Randall de Seve
Illustrator: Jen Corace
Published, 2010: Harper Collins
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