Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Curious George and the Hot Air Balloon

Even Curious George enjoys the adventures of a vacation.

Rey, Margret and H.A.
Curious George and the Hot Air Balloon.
May 2010.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Review copy provided courtesy of publisher.

Curious George and the man with they yellow hat have gone on vacation. Their trip includes a visit Mount Rushmore and then making a stop at a nearby hot air balloon race. As is to be expected from George, he can't just look and explore... he's more what you'd call a hands-on learner. Unfortunately, his hands-on approach gets him into a bit of a pickle, as when he touches one of the ropes tethering the balloon, he unknowingly unties it, setting the balloon free. But... it wouldn't be a Curious George tale unless George saved the day and made a rescue of some sort, and that's just what he does!

I loved this particular Curious George title... it may be one of my most favorite! Not only is it a fun read with one of our favorite characters, the title has a tiny bit of history in it that just might spike a child's interest in learning more about Mount Rushmore! The only complaint I have about this book is that it didn't accurately portray the ways in which hot air balloons really "fly." Young children are very... gullible, I guess you could say. It's very likely that they'd believe the balloons really will take flight simply by loosening the ropes! Perhaps you could turn this into a bit more of a learning activity by discovering the real way a hot air balloon flies!

Learning/Reading Activity:
  • Check out this list of Hot Air Balloon Festivals held world-wide! Pick out an event close to you and spend the day at the festival. My family used to go to one of these when we lived in Glens Falls and it was SO much fun! I'm actually considering going back for the festival this year, after reading the book and having discovered that the festival is coming up later in September!
  • Work with your child(ren) to do the Hot Air Balloon experiment found at This looks fairly simple and not too time consuming... I will admit, I haven't tried it myself, so take heed!
  • Print out the Hot Air Balloon Coloring Page. Encourage your child to decorate/design his/her own hot air balloon after browsing through the picture gallery at Webshots.
  • You can also check out various Hot Air Balloon crafts for children of all ages!
  • You could also plan a hot air balloon ride for your family. Simply search the internet for hot air balloon rides near you!

If you're interested in finding out more information about any of the books reviewed or if you'd like to purchase the books, click the cover image for a link to I am an Amazon Affiliate, so any purchases you make after clicking these images will result in my receiving a small percentage of the sale price!