The Big Wet Balloon

Overview

A Parents Best Book of the Year!

When her little sister, Clemmie, refuses to go out in the rain, Matilda sets out to teach her all the delights of a wet Saturday. But after her enthusiasm leads her to make a big mistake, it’s Matilda who will end up learning an unforgettable lesson. The world-renowned cartoonist Liniers gives us a funny and sweet portrait of his daughters that is sure to become every beginning reader’s favorite story.

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Overview

A Parents Best Book of the Year!

When her little sister, Clemmie, refuses to go out in the rain, Matilda sets out to teach her all the delights of a wet Saturday. But after her enthusiasm leads her to make a big mistake, it’s Matilda who will end up learning an unforgettable lesson. The world-renowned cartoonist Liniers gives us a funny and sweet portrait of his daughters that is sure to become every beginning reader’s favorite story.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Argentinean cartoonist Liniers makes his U.S. debut with a story that presents an up-close view of a tender sororal friendship. For optimistic and strong-willed Matilda, nothing beats a Saturday. “This is how you wake up on a Saturday,” she tells her younger sister, Clemmie, who peeks at Matilda from between the bars of her crib. “Hoooraayy! Hooooraaay! For all day today is Saaaaturdaaaay!” (“Ta-day!” cheers Clemmie, just trying to keep up.) It’s pouring rain on this particular Saturday, but that doesn’t deter Matilda; she coaxes Clemmie outdoors and shows her the delights of running through a downpour and jumping in puddles. When a rainbow appears, Matilda decides to offer it a gift—and what better gift than that red balloon her sister treasures? Liniers’s intimate ink-and-watercolor vignettes give way to a full-spread scene of a forlorn Clemmie chasing the balloon into the distance. He doesn’t linger on this transgression, but jumps ahead to the evening, as Matilda makes amends—a reminder that moments of disappointment and dismay can be as intense, but also as fleeting, as a summer storm. A bilingual edition is simultaneously available. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
[A] tender, accurate depiction of sister dynamics, including the lessons they invariably learn from each other, and Liniers’s cartoon drawings capture the siblings’ distinct, expressive personalities.
—The Horn Book (starred review)

An up-close view of a tender sororal friendship. ... A reminder that moments of disappointment and dismay can be as intense, but also as fleeting, as a summer storm.
—Publishers Weekly

A simple, funny slice of life, The Big Wet Balloon succeeds by effectively depicting a sibling relationship and the joys of a child’s world. ... The full-color illustrations have have a sophisticated cartoon quality.
—100 Scope Notes (SLJ blog)

Celebrated Argentine cartoonist Liniers offers a warm visual welcome to early readers in this graphic novel; lively watercolors in comic format provide plenty of memorable images and details to examine and savor. The gentle humor and mild suspense will quickly draw readers in, while brief sentences and appropriately challenging vocabulary, flawlessly interwoven with pictures that provide visual cues, leave room for readers to decipher, consider and comprehend. ... An excellent example of how well comics can work for early readers, this warm and accessible story is sure to be a favorite.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Liniers tells a quiet story that taps into moments of childhood life the way that few comics manage (or bother to try), augmented by a color palette that creates a deep sense of mood, warm line work, and characters... An uncommonly family-friendly tale, great for parents to share with their kids.
—Booklist

This adorable comic-like tale of two sisters who spend a rainy day playing outside wooed our kid reviewers because it didn’t look like a typical early reader. The level is discreetly displayed on the back. 'The story was much more substantial than other early readers, yet it used enough recognizable words for my 5-year-old to get through it on her own,' says a mom reviewer.
—Parents Magazine

From the Publisher
[A] tender, accurate depiction of sister dynamics, including the lessons they invariably learn from each other, and Liniers’s cartoon drawings capture the siblings’ distinct, expressive personalities.
—The Horn Book (starred review)

Celebrated Argentine cartoonist Liniers offers a warm visual welcome to early readers in this graphic novel; lively watercolors in comic format provide plenty of memorable images and details to examine and savor. The gentle humor and mild suspense will quickly draw readers in, while brief sentences and appropriately challenging vocabulary, flawlessly interwoven with pictures that provide visual cues, leave room for readers to decipher, consider and comprehend. ... An excellent example of how well comics can work for early readers, this warm and accessible story is sure to be a favorite.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Children's Literature - Leona Illig
Matilda and her little sister, Clemmie, cannot wait for Saturday, because everything is better on Saturday. But when the day arrives, it is raining outside. Quiet Clemmie does not need to give a speech to convince Matilda that she does not want to go out in the rain. Nevertheless, Matilda encourages her to leave the house, and together they explore all the fun things that they can do in the rain. And, when a beautiful rainbow finally appears, the two of them decide to give the rainbow a gift: a big balloon, which flies up into the sky to meet the end of the rainbow. This charming story, inspired by the author’s two daughters, is both gentle and funny. The drawings are simple, with understated colors, but there is depth to almost every one. Unlike many graphic novels, this book is not done in colors that scream at the reader. According to the publisher, this is a Level 2, “Easy-to-Read Comic,” for emerging readers. Such books are characterized by short sentences, few characters, and one to four panels per page. Their length runs from 300 to 600 words. At the back of the book are tips about how to read comics with kids, and a note about the author (while the book jacket refers to the author as “Liniers,” the note gives the author’s name as Ricardo Liniers Siri). This whimsical book, part graphic novel and part picture book, is likely to enchant young girls. Reviewer: Leona Illig AGERANGE: Ages 6 to 9.
School Library Journal
09/01/2013
PreS-Gr 2—These books explore the ups and downs of family life. In Peas, four chapters show Patrick and his parents in humorous conflict over vegetables, chores, baths, and bedtime. Patrick's imaginative naughtiness comes alive in Hayes's detailed colored pencil drawings, and the young bear's antics may remind readers of Calvin, Dennis the Menace, and other comic scamps. In Balloon, an older sister exuberantly bosses her younger sister in a series of rainy-day escapades, while Liniers's ink and watercolor illustrations convey each of the sisters' emotions, from enthusiasm to trepidation and even gleeful disgust at mucky worms. These easy readers feature familiar environments, a limited number of characters, and vocabulary that will gently challenge young readers with words like "beautiful" and sound effects like "burble burble." While the expressive thought bubbles, dynamic panel layouts, and perfect pacing make both titles enjoyable first comics, they may be even more successful in beginning-reader collections serving younger children.—Sarah Stone, San Francisco Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
There are so many things to do when it rains! Hooray! It's Saturday. But wait--it's raining. What are two sisters to do? Older sibling Matilda is absolutely full of ideas and ready to lead younger Clemmie on a grand adventure. What will they do first? It all begins with rain boots and entails a very special red balloon, a wink to the classic book and film. Celebrated Argentine cartoonist Liniers offers a warm visual welcome to early readers in this graphic novel; lively watercolors in comic format provide plenty of memorable images and details to examine and savor. The gentle humor and mild suspense will quickly draw readers in, while brief sentences and appropriately challenging vocabulary, flawlessly interwoven with pictures that provide visual cues, leave room for readers to decipher, consider and comprehend. Natural repetition allows for practice. Overall, this satisfying tale captures the camaraderie of two sisters and shows how the oldest doesn't always have the answers. Now, what will the girls do on Sunday? Achoo! Uh-oh…. An excellent example of how well comics can work for early readers, this warm and accessible story is sure to be a favorite. (Early reader. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781935179320
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 9/10/2013
  • Series: Toon Series
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 280,707
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 190L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Ricardo Liniers lives in Buenos Aires with his wife and two daughters, who inspired this story. For more than ten years, he has published a hugely popular daily strip, Macanudo, in the Argentine newspaper La Nación. He also tours the world drawing onstage with musician Kevin Johansen. His work has been published in nine countries from Brazil to the Czech Republic, but this is his first book in the United States. Like his daughters, Liniers likes rainy days even more than sunny ones.

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