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"There is an easy way to select texts that does not involve the use of readability formulae: try reading them. Recreat... More
Summary: Join the balloonies for a tour of Boston in this picture book that shows you all of the sites, from Fenway Park to the Charles River. You'll also discover all of the hidden talents of a balloon. This rhyming picture book introduces kids to the sites of Boston.
Type of Reading: playtime reading, learning to read, read aloud book, reluctant reader
Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 8; read yourself: 6 to 9
Interest Level: 4 to 8
Reading Level: 1.2
Age of Child: Shared with nearly 7-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: This book reminded our daughter of the Loonee Balloonees in Leaving Balloonee Island. She kept looking for the same characters in this story. She didn't understand some of the places (like the Commons), but recognized others (Franklin Park Zoo).
Adult Reader Reaction: This is a fun way to introduce Boston to young readers. They won't get any history, but they will have context and places they recognize once they get there. The rhyming scheme makes it easy to help emerging readers develop their skills and fill in the blank as we read along together.
Pros: Kids will enjoy this lighter-than-air tour of Boston. Parents can use the illustrations to explore Boston or talk about specific things (like orchestras, instruments, and animals.
Cons: None, really. This will mostly appeal to people who KNOW Boston or are planning to visit there with young children.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow, unless you have a strong connection to Boston. The story is cute, but will mostly appeal to those with kids who can "connect" with the place.
Educational Themes: For pre-readers as young as toddlers, this would be a fun book to share just to explore the pictures. The bright illustrations will attract their attention and there are lots of things you can point to, from specific objects and places to facial expressions. For preschool and younger elementary children, it is a chance to learn about an important place in US history (albeit without any history lesson) and build their reading vocabulary.