Mathilda and the Orange Balloon by Randall de Seve, illustrated by Jen Corace.

Mathilda’s world is small, only a few things in it: gray skies, green grass, green barn, gray stones, and gray sheep.  It was all ok, until she saw the bright orange balloon float past.  Then all she wanted to be was an orange balloon herself.  First, she made herself as round as the balloon.  The hardest part is turning herself orange.  The other sheep offer up ideas of things that are orange: fierce tigers, the sun, autumn leaves.  Mathilda imagined herself orange and round as hard as she could and suddenly, there she was, a Mathilda-shaped orange balloon.  That was when the lives of all of the sheep changed.

A wonderful book about the power of dreams and imagination, this book is simple and delightful.  De Seve’s writing is straight-forward and plain, offering a wonderful contrast between it and the subject matter.  Corace’s illustrations use white space to great advantage, emphasizing the simplicity of Mathilda’s world until imagination enters it.  Her sheep have great personality, with winning facial expressions.

Bravo for such a creative little book that takes imagination into reality with no hesitation.  This will make any sheep story time less gray and more colorful!  Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from copy received from Harper Collins.

Also reviewed by Creative Literacy.