Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Balloon for Isabel” as Want to Read:
A Balloon for Isabel
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Balloon for Isabel

4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  347 Ratings  ·  87 Reviews
Balloons are bright and floaty and shiny and perfect.

More than anything else in the whole wide world, Isabel wants a balloon. Everyone will get one on Graduation Day—everyone except the porcupines, because Porcupines + Balloons = Trouble

But Isabel isn't going to settle for another boring bookmark. She has a plan. . . .
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 27th 2010 by Greenwillow Books (first published July 14th 2009)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Balloon for Isabel, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Balloon for Isabel

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Oct 14, 2010 Treasa rated it really liked it
Graduation from Kindergarten is just two days away, and Isabel is determined to have a balloon. All the other graduates will have balloons, but not the porcupines - it isn't safe for a porcupine to hold a balloon. Isabel's determination and creativity bring about a delightful resolution to this problem.

This book is just delightful. The illustrations perfectly complement the sweet, fast-paced, completely fun text. I love that Isabel doesn't give up - she is determined to have a balloon! And she i
Jan 12, 2011 June rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to June by: Cap Choices
This is my favorite picture book for this year. I think it would be wonderful for a strong female story time for March. I was just entranced by Isabel. Her planning, perseverance, and imagination are heartwarming. The writing is perfect from the "No fair" that begins the story. The tone "Isabel wanted a balloon more than anything" is perfect for the picture book crowd. The solution will please everyone.
Meg McGregor
Jul 03, 2014 Meg McGregor rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-to-lexi
Isabel and her friends are graduating and she is so looking forward to the graduation balloons!

But porcupines aren't given balloons because of their sharp quills.! And Isabel has her heart set on getting a balloon!

How she accomplishes this is a delight to read. Well done and very cute illustrations!
Jun 07, 2012 Luann rated it really liked it
Recommended to Luann by: Marie J.
What a cute book! I love Isabel and her creative solution to her balloon problem. This makes me wish I taught kindergarten so I could read this aloud to them! :)
May 28, 2014 Kathryn rated it really liked it
Very cute. I love Isabell's ingenuity and tenacity. If only this was about hedgehogs instead--but porcupines here are cute, too ;-)
This book made me feel injustice and then joy. Wonderful illustrations!
Jun 29, 2010 Anina rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Cute story about negotiating rules in a healthy way, fun for 3-5's story times.
Caroline Daniel
Oct 30, 2016 Caroline Daniel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reading-4050
o Summary: Isabel is a porcupine who is about to graduate. All of the other kids who are graduating get a balloon. None of the porcupines can have balloons because their teachers says that they will just pop. Isabel and her friend Walter try to think of different ways that they can make sure that they will get a balloon instead of a silly bookmark. Finally Isabel covers herself in small candies that way she cannot poke and pop her graduation balloon.
o Grade level: 2nd
o Appropriate classroom use
Marissa Chiaro
Oct 10, 2016 Marissa Chiaro rated it really liked it
This would be a wonderful book for teachers to read to their students for a read aloud. This story's characters includes students and the teacher. In this case, students can use their imaginations and compare and contrast Ms. Quill (the porcupine teacher) with their own teacher.
Margaux Brink
Nov 07, 2016 Margaux Brink rated it liked it
Summary: Isabel the porcupine and her friend Walter are excited, but they have one problem: they do not get to receive balloons like all the other students because their spikes are too dangerous. Every year porcupines get bookmarks for every celebration while all the other students receive a fun balloon Her porcupine teacher Ms. Quill discourages Isabel from wanting a balloon by showing a problem with all of her possible solutions to getting a balloon despite her spikes. Isabel is determined to ...more
Mary Ann
Do your children ever feel doomed by impossible rules? Or are they the sort who will do anything to come up with a creative solution? Isabel is a determined optimist. A Balloon for Isabel brought a smile to my face and brightened my day. This is perfect for a birthday or end-of-year treat, either for a sunny optimist or a little kid who needs some encouragement. It will bring sweet laughter, reminding us all that a little creative thinking will solve the prickliest of problems.

Isabel's school ha
Sep 16, 2016 Melissa rated it it was amazing
I absolutely love that Isabel doesn't give up and is very creative. Such a cute story
Kevin Huot
Sep 12, 2016 Kevin Huot rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-lit
This book was about some porcupines who used problem solving to get balloons. I liked this book because it shows that if you don't try, you will never know. I would use this book to show kids that it's ok to try something out even if it doesn't work.
Bonnie Ferrante
Jun 27, 2014 Bonnie Ferrante rated it it was amazing
This book starts with a great hook. Isabel and Walter, two little porcupines, are protesting an unfairness done to them two days before graduation. Because they are covered in quills, Isabel and Walter will not be presented with balloons. They are tired of receiving bookmarks. (The skunks, raccoons, mice, foxes, and other characters appear to be kindergarten age.)

Walter and Isabel attempt several strategies to change the teacher’s mind. The teacher is also a porcupine and has logical reasons why
Brenda Kimble
Nov 24, 2013 Brenda Kimble rated it it was amazing
Shelves: final-best-books
Most children enjoy balloons. They are bright and some of them even float. This book uses fiction to tell a story about a girl porcupine who is graduating from kindergarten. All of the animal sudents in her class got balloons at graduation. She wanted one too. But porcupines could not have balloons because their quills would bust them and scare everyone.So she looked for ideas. She tried several things that didnot work such as putting pillows on the heads of all of the porcupines in the class b ...more
Young Reader Reaction: My kids loved this book. They requested it over and over. They thought Isabel was funny, especially her repeated attempts to balloon-proof herself.

Adult Reader Reaction: I liked A Balloon for Isabella for its funny narrative, bright and cheery illustrations, and its cute message.

Pros: Readers young and old will enjoy this sweet story with beautiful illustrations and a great message.

Read our full review and add yours at The Reading Tub.

Megan MacDonald
Jan 28, 2011 Megan MacDonald rated it it was amazing
A porcupine wanting a balloon!? This book had me laughing out loud! The pictures that go with the words are hilarious and will definitely keep young children engaged. Isabel is a porcupine and is jealous when the other animals at school get balloons for graduation. Her teacher, Ms. Quill, tells her that it is trouble for porcupines to have balloons. Isabel and her friends try to devise a plan so that they can have balloons too, but all the silly ideas they have keep back firing. Will Isabel be t ...more
Phuong Dao
Dec 04, 2010 Phuong Dao rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-theater
I love this book it is a fun book to read. This book is about two porcupines who wish to have a balloon for their graduation. But since they are all spikey and prickley they are not allow to have balloon but rather bookmark. They tried and tried to asked their teacher to have a balloon but the teacher said no. One day they came up with an idea to use gumdrops and stick it on teach of their thorn to stop it from poking the balloon. Finally Mrs. Quill agree to give them the balloon. This is a fun ...more
Jess Brown
All Isabel wants is a balloon for graduation like all the other animals receive. The reason she can't have one? She's a porcupine, and balloons always pop around a spiky porcupine. In this sweet story, Isabel tries several clever plans (wearing a box, pillows, and bubble wrap) to cover up her quills and be bubble-proof. In the end she devises a smart plan and everyone winds up happy. Great for preschoolers or early elementary kids; perhaps even appropriate during kindergarten graduations.
Ever long for something you can't have? Well Isabel and Walter, two porcupines, want to have a balloon for graduation just like all their other classmates. However, their teacher Ms. Quill explains balloons are not safe around porcupines and they will receive bookmarks instead. Unhappy with this news Isabel comes up with several plans to make porcupines pop proof. After several tries, you'll be surprised by the results and these creative and determined porcupines will leave you cheering.

This was cuter than I thought it'd be! Isabel and Walter, two preschool-ish porcupines, are bummed because they won't get to have balloons like the rest of the class on graduation day. Their teacher (also a porcupine) tries to explain why they have to have bookmarks instead, but Isabel and Walter aren't satisfied. I like the solution the prickly pair come up with to enjoy balloons in the end - and that it's one they came up with on their own.
Sep 06, 2013 Brandi rated it it was amazing
This book is DARLING!!! I only wish I had seen it before school got out. It's perfect for preschool or kindergarten graduation.
It's only 2 days before graduation and 2 little porcupine friends want balloons like all the other animals. Ms. Quill says they have to have graduation bookmarks rather than balloons, because balloons aren't safe. Isabel and Walter come up with a grand plan to ensure they'll have a balloon at graduation too.
May 09, 2015 Dawn rated it liked it
In A Balloon for Isabel, everyone in Isabel’s class gets a balloon at graduation, except for the porcupines, because of their quills. Isabel is determined to find get a balloon, and after several attempts, covers her quills with gumdrops, making her pop-proof. The book shows how ingenuity, creative thinking, and perseverance can help you reach your dreams, and Kirkus points out that the “illustrations add humor and charm…and the vivid colors make the pictures pop.”
Dec 09, 2012 Charlotte rated it liked it
Shelves: kids
This story teaches kids that it's OK to respectfully question authority and the status quo. Young Isabel the porcupine is a resourceful problem-solver. Don't simply accept a disappointing answer because that is the way it has always been. Come up with a better solution. Sometimes breaking the rules benefits everyone.
Christie Wild
Oct 04, 2010 Christie Wild rated it really liked it
Summary: As graduation day approaches, Isabel tries to convince her teacher that she and Walter, both porcupines, should receive balloons on the big day just like the other children.

Cute. Isabel comes up with a clever solution. Fun, twist ending. Good for teaching feelings and acceptance, and also prediction and problem solving.
Jul 22, 2011 Paula rated it liked it
As graduation day approaches, Isabel tries to convince her teacher that she and Walter, both porcupines, should receive balloons on the big day just like the other children. She is very resourceful and there are some funny situations but there is quit some text
Washington Children's choice picture book award nominee 2012
Mary Crytzer
Oct 18, 2013 Mary Crytzer rated it really liked it
Isabel the porcupine loves balloons and wants one for graduation, but her teacher tells her porcupines + balloons = trouble. This does not sit well with and she eventually figures a way to solve the prickly problem and get her balloon. This book is a lot of fun to read, and the illustrations give the animals humanity by showing expressions, reactions, etc. of each of the characters.
Hannah Cobb
Jul 03, 2013 Hannah Cobb rated it really liked it
Shelves: storytime
Isabel wants a balloon. All the other animals will get a wonderful floaty balloon at graduation, but Isabel--and the other porcupines--will get a boring bookmark. Can Isabel make herself pop-proof? The little porcupine finds an adorable solution to her prickly problem in this whimsical, brightly illustrated picture book.
Jul 07, 2010 Beth rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s
Isabel, a porcupine, is not happy with a bookmark gift of graduation. She wants a balloon like the others in her calls. The gumdrops on quills work and the teacher is very happy as well. This story reinforces problem solving skills to find solutions.
Jun 24, 2012 Shelli rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Isabel wants to change a silly rule at her school. All children should get to release a balloon on the last day of school, no matter what species they are. Her creative and determined spirit is a good example of how to get results in a positive way.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Disappearing Desmond
  • Rubia and the Three Osos
  • Swim! Swim!
  • Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten?
  • Read It, Don't Eat It!
  • A Bedtime for Bear
  • Pigs to the Rescue
  • Chicken Big
  • Woof: A Love Story
  • Dancing Feet!
  • Oh, Daddy!
  • Bridget's Beret
  • Bunny Days
  • Sleepy, Oh So Sleepy
  • Please Take Me For a Walk
  • Wanted: The Perfect Pet
  • Hip and Hop, Don't Stop!
  • Frankie Works the Night Shift

Share This Book