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You Can't Take a Balloon into the National Gallery
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You Can't Take a Balloon into the National Gallery (You Can't Take a Balloon...)

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  96 ratings  ·  20 reviews
The little girl knows she can't bring her balloon into the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., so she asks a photographer to hold it outside. But when the balloon flies away, a collision of art, history, and urban life unfolds. Full-color illustrations.
Paperback, 40 pages
Published May 27th 2002 by Puffin Books (first published May 27th 2000)
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Wordless Picture Books
56th out of 157 books — 246 voters
Linnea in Monet's Garden by Christina BjörkYou Can't Take a Balloon into the Metropolitan Museum by Jacqueline Preiss WeitzmanYou Can't Take a Balloon into the National Gallery by Jacqueline Preiss WeitzmanYou Can't Take a Balloon into the Museum of Fine Arts by Jacqueline Preiss WeitzmanThe Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau by Michelle Markel
Picture Books About Museums
3rd out of 53 books — 8 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 170)
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Lisa Vegan
Sep 16, 2009 Lisa Vegan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: children who know Washington, D.C., those who are interested in American history & art
These “You Can’t Take a Balloon…” books would be great gifts for grandparents to give to grandkids, as I realized with this second published book. The first book is a grandmother taking her granddaughter to The Metropolitan Museum in NYC, this second book is the grandmother taking that same granddaughter and her younger brother to the National Gallery museum in Washington, D.C. (I have the third book in hand and it looks as though both grandmother and grandfather are taking both grandchildren to ...more
Becky B
The little girl from You Can't Take a Balloon into the Metropolitan Museum of Art has learned her lesson that balloons and art museums don't mix. So when she heads into the National Gallery in Washington D.C. she leaves her balloon with a photographer outside. But an accident happens and the balloon gets loose. Soon, the photographer and a growing group of helpers are chasing the balloon all over Washington D.C. in attempts to retrieve it before the little girl gets out of the museum. Frames are ...more
This is a beautifully illustrated book, enjoyed by both my kids (5 and 2). I like that this book sparks the imagination along with showing the sights and sounds of DC. Since my kids regularly see many of the places featured in the illustrations, it makes this book that much more enjoyable.
Jan 02, 2011 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a gem of a book. I discovered it through the Children's Books group here on Goodreads. And although they picked You Can't Take a Balloon into the Metropolitan Museum as one of January's picks, I just had to "read" this one first since we live near Washington DC.

It's a fascinating wordless tale, and one that has so many hidden pictures and things going on that you could spend at least an hour on this book. I love the synchronicity between the scenery we see inside the museum with what's
6 starts

my first 6 star book in months.

don't know how the artist writer did it, but this wordless book is a great read aloud.

the art shows up in real scenes in nyc, brilliant book and series
Randie D. Camp, M.S.
A young girl visiting Washington D.C. has a brilliant orange balloon. She cannot take this balloon into the national Gallery of Art, so a photographer agrees to watch it for her. As the young girl explores the gallery with her family, the balloon soars through the city with the photographer chasing after it. The illustrations are lively with portions in black and white and other portions popping with color.

Anyone who has ever accidentally let go of their balloon will certainly find this book rat
This book was a fun marriage of National History and Art, all tied together with one bright red balloon.
Liz Todd
Too. Much. Just too much.

I think it's brilliant, I just don't have the schema to appreciate it.
Cute and textless, something a pre-reader can really enjoy by herself.
Sam Bloom
This is one of those times where I ordered a book but, once it arrived, couldn't remember WHY I ordered it. Despite this, I enjoyed the book; a classic chase book (my fave of this little sub-genre being the Great Gracie Chase) where a little girl's balloon goes flying, with the chasers including a cardboard cutout of George Washington, a TV crew, a visiting diplomat, and a family of crunchy-granola eco-hippies. The artist drew historical figures into pretty much one panel per page.
Sara Perry
Just like my last review, this picture book is about a silly balloon traveling around the city. This time, the balloon is traveling around Washington D.C. I love learning about history and I loved seeing the illustrations that dealt with all of this history. This book especially shows children all of the landmarks that have to do with American history and many key principles of our nation. It is a fun and quirky book about our capital and I recommend it for children to read.
Karyn The Pirate
Wonderful wordless picture book. As you follow a wayward balloon through Washington D.C. the scenes the balloon encounters are mirrored by artwork in the Gallery. You can also try to locate the 32 Americans who have made contributions in history throughout the scenes. This book gives kids enjoyment (and education) on multiple levels.

While a brother and sister, along with their grandmother, visit the National Gallery of Art, the balloon they were not allowed to bring into the museum floats around Washington, D.C., causing a series of mishaps at various tourist sites. Images of thirty-two famous Americans appear among the illustrations.
Moral of the story: If a child asks you to watch her balloon while she's in a museum, make sure you knot the string securely so happenstance won't loose the balloon and send it flying all over the city, leaving chaos in its wake.
This was not as fun as the other "You Can't Take a Ballon" book, but the girls liked it. It does provide a great segue to landmarks of Washington, D.C., and of course exposes more art.
This book is a GREAT resource for non-readers and early readers. Very intricate "Where's Waldo" type illustrations that incorporate art and history and Washington D.C.
A very cute, fun, imaginative book for young readers; expressive through the illustrations, and enjoyable to know. Save the ducks and save this story.
Wordless, imaginative, interesting correlation with balloon's adventure and child's experience in museum, suitable for young and old alike, Nations Capital.
Beautifully illustrated tour of DC and a fun introduction to the art at the National Gallery.
A collision of art, history, and urban life that becomes increasingly comical and exciting.
Shannon marked it as to-read
Nov 17, 2015
Lauren marked it as to-read
Oct 06, 2015
Lindsey Smith
Lindsey Smith marked it as to-read
Sep 15, 2015
Ian marked it as to-read
Aug 16, 2015
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Other Books in the Series

You Can't Take a Balloon... (3 books)
  • You Can't Take a Balloon into the Metropolitan Museum
  • You Can't Take a Balloon into the Museum of Fine Arts

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