This is an old favourite that I have shared with many children. My girls loved the stories about Kipper written by Mick Inkpen and this was one of their most loved books.
This short story book features a young boy and his dog called Kipper. Kipper and his owner embark on an adventure when they find a soggy blue balloon, which challenges their preconceptions of how ordinary balloons should behave. The mysterious balloon proves to be out of the ordinary and the boy soon finds out that it has ‘Strange and Wonderful Powers’. This balloon is indestructible: it refuses to pop, even when squeezed, squashed and whacked with a stick. It disappears and comes back shaped like a square; and then treats Kipper and the boy to a day trip to a distant planet, before dropping them home in time for dinner.
To my mind, this fun loving fiction book certainly captures our imagination, even when the story is based on an everyday item. Arguably, where this book differs to others is that it offers little surprises with its fold out page format. The children love discovering that the book, like the balloon, has several pages that fold out and fold up, enabling the balloon to grow and stretch into various shapes. The simple but elegant illustrations make it a pleasure to read. I have shared this book with children aged 3 to 6 years and although my copy now has pages that are torn and worn, it is still a well used book and continues to be a favourite with the children.