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Balancing Act

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  307 ratings  ·  67 reviews
Two mice make a teeter-totter. They're balancing just fine, but then along comes a frog. Can they make room for one more friend on their teeter-totter? What about two? What about more? But then a big bird comes along and wants to play too. Better watch out!
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 21st 2010 by Beach Lane Books (first published 2010)
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3.70  · 
Rating details
 ·  307 ratings  ·  67 reviews


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Kathryn
Apr 13, 2012 rated it liked it
When several other creatures try to join in the fun as two mice balance on a teeter-totter, this story becomes a fun way to show the concept of weight and balance--and also of cooperation and teamwork. The illustrations were not my favorite style, but I appreciated the cut-paper work.
Emily
Apr 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
We've been reading Mouse Paint, a seemingly simple (sometimes I find it boring, sometimes elegantly simple) book about colors, regularly in this household since 2004, but only recently have we delved into the author/illustrator's slightly lesser-known, but also mouse-themed book about balancing. Walsh does frogs jumping clumsily onto improvised teeter-totters better than any illustrator I've ever come across, or likely ever will. Having read it once aloud to my non-reading son, not stinting on t ...more
Aneesa
May 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
These mice remind me of Justin and Emma.
Reader
Dec 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
This deceptively simple picture book nails the concept of balance for the PreK-1st graders. This would work great in a classroom setting to teach simple machines. Through appealing cut paper illustrations, Walsh tells the story of two mice teeter-tottering on a stick. Slowly, more animals join the party, throwing everything off-balance. When the stick eventually breaks, our heroes show their resourcefulness, and are soon teeter-tottering again. Not a word or image is wasted. - T
 Patti
I love the simplicity of Ellen Walsh's books. Those who loved Mouse Paint for its engaging art and ability to teach a concept, will love Balancing Act as well. I already have a list of young scientist I need to share it with. Better buy another copy.
Amanda Crusse
Dec 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
“Balancing Act” is a children’s picture book published in 2010, for children ages 2-6 years old. The story is about two little mice who build a teeter-totter out of a rock and stick. It starts with just the two of them balancing until friends come along wanting to join in.
I rate this book 5 stars because for the books target age group, it clearly explains the concept of balance in a cute way. It relies mainly on its illustrations to teach the basic concept of balance. The characters in the book
...more
Jo Oehrlein
May 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books, math
A cute picture book about animals balancing on a teeter-totter.

A mouse on each end balances.
A salamander joins in an unbalances things.
A mouse and a salamander on each end balances.
A mouse and a salamander and a frog on each end balances.
Two mice and two salamanders and two frogs balance a bird.
Elizabeth Miller
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ed-689
Balancing Act is about two little mice that balance on a stick and a rock. Then some other animals join and throw it off balance, only to then return back to balance with the help of others. This fiction story is ideal for teaching about balance and counterweights.
Kathleen
Jun 08, 2018 rated it liked it
It's hard for an in depth review of a board book. The illustrations are bright and eye catching. The 'story' (as much as it is one) works. Kids of board book age will love it. Older kids, not so much. So looking at it that way - just perfect!
Josh Bader
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I liked this book a lot. Reminded me of the play ground days. Everyone jumping around on the teeter totter. An over flow of kids running to it. Show I think it would be a great book for right before recess it elementary!
Peacegal
Jun 29, 2017 rated it liked it
We've all played "balance" on a teeter-totter as children. This book features cute paper-cut illustrations and an exotic cast of critters.
Mary
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great read-aloud for 2-4 y/o.
Melissa
Jan 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great book for introducing the concept of balance. Ellen Stoll Walsh has some fantastic books. Think it's also time to introduce Mouse Paint to the little pickle!
John
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I like this book because first there are just mice, but then lots of animals come.
Richie Partington
Jul 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picturebooks
30 June 2010 BALANCING ACT by Ellen Stoll Walsh, Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster, September 2010, 32p., ISBN: 978-1-4424-0757-2

"I know you won't believe me
But I'm certain that I did see
A mouse playing daffodil."
-- The Moody Blues, "Nice to be Here"

"The mice made a teeter-totter.
It was fun to balance...one mouse on each end.
Ta-da!"

I cannot recall where and with whom I first sat upon a teeter-totter (or, as we called them, a see saw). But I imagine it to have been a pleasant experience for, as fa
...more
Tasha
Nov 24, 2010 added it
Shelves: picture-books
Two mice put together a stick and rock to make a teeter-totter. With one mouse on each end, they balance. But when a salamander wants to join in, the teeter-totter tips, until another salamander comes along. When one frog jumps in, the teeter-totter really tips, but balance is restored with another jumping frog coming on. Trouble comes along though when a bird wants to join in too. For a little while there is balance with all of the animals on one side and the bird on the other. But then the wei ...more
Liz
Feb 28, 2013 rated it liked it
Two mice are playing on a teeter-totter, experimenting how to make themselves balanced. They've got it all figured out until a salamander wants a turn. Joined by lizards, frogs, and even birds, the two mice find creative ways to continue to balance on the teeter-tooter...until, it breaks. Everyone leaves to find something else to do, but the mice continue to play at their balancing act.

"Balancing Act" is appropriate for ages 2+.

This book is a great way to introduce children to the concept of ba
...more
Brianne Griffin
Apr 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
"Balancing Act" us a picture book that uses mice and other animals to help teach the concept of balance to young children. The illustrations for this book are rendered in cut paper and splattered with acrylic paints. The cut-outs appear against a white background in double page spreads. In the story the mice make a teeter-totter out of a stick and rock. This illustration is on every page throughout the story but differs in angles. The rock is placed in the gutter on every page to invite your eye ...more
Julia Jasztal
Feb 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
Mommy's review from 10/29/11 -


I'd like to rate this higher - if we'd read this when Julia was about two years old than I probably would. Julia loves, loves, loves picking out books for herself but she's still new to it and has no problem walking out of the library with a book meant for a toddler. She's actually just now getting the hang of find age appropriate books for herself now that she's using the library at her kindergarten without Mommy there. :)
I can't think of the title but this remind
...more
Camille
Nov 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Cute cause-and-effect book about two mice and their other animal friends trying to balance on a stick. I really like all the concepts you can introduce to a child when you're reading this. I also like the possibilities to encourage their narrative of what's happening in the pictures. Great for a lapsit or encouraging a group of preschoolers to wonder what's going to happen next.

Walsh's style in this book, is similar to Ian Schoenherr's in that they both use a small amount of words to convey a l
...more
Jane G Meyer
Apr 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Jabber and Dot, two mice, learn about the mysteries of maintaining balance. Others join the fun and lots of shifting ensues... The illustrations are done through paper cutouts, and are very simple, colorful and easy to interpret. A great little book for toddlers.

We find Dot and Jabber in another story, but this time, in "Dot and Jabber and the Great Acorn Mystery" they are detectives. They follow the clues and learn that acorns can travel by way of squirrels, and oak trees can thus grow far, one
...more
Ann Cox
In Balancing Act, two mice use a stick and a rock as a teeter-totter. As other animals join them, they find it more and more difficult to keep the balance just right. This is an excellent book to introduce preschoolers to the concept of balance. The illustrations, which are just as important as the words in this story, are very unique. It looks as if Walsh used a combination of construction paper and cardstock cut-outs to create her characters.
Kristen
I love Walsh's mice and her gorgeous cut-paper illustrations! Two mice make a teeter-totter with a stick and a rock for a fulcrum, and with just the two, it balances. But more friends want to play, and they must find ways to still make it balance. This is perfect for a math unit, especially if you have scales (or a teeter-totter!) for kids to experiment with after.
Janet
Oct 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Two mice are balancing on a teeter totter made from a stick, when various other animals arrive and everyone needs to rebalance. Few words, sparse but colorful illustrations that are most appropriate for this story.
Devon
Good for learning how to visually identify heavy versus light objects, making predictions on what will be heavier, and thinking about why one side of the teeter-totter goes up/down. Also just a fun read whether you're teaching math skills or not.
Horace Mann Family Reading Challenge
I love the simplicity of Ellen Walsh's books. Those who love Mouse Paint for its engaging art and ability to teach concepts will love Balancing Act as well. I all ready have a list of young scientist I need to share it with. PK
Edna
Feb 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Two little mice make a seesaw and are enjoying the perfect balancing act until their animal friends want to jump on one side or the other of the seesaw. Illustrations are textured and printed paper die-cuts.
Natasha
Two mice balance on a stick and stone while other animals try to join them, unbalancing their teeter-totter.

Good for preschool STEM - give kids scales or rulers and tin cans to make their own teeter-totters and try to balance them
jacky
Jun 03, 2011 rated it liked it
I had read Natalie two other books about these mice, and my favorite is still Mouse Paint. Still, this is a cute book that introduces the idea of balancing and weight. The animals are all colorful and cute.
gina
Sep 24, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: board-book
Woods (19 months) was not as enthralled by this one as he was by some of the others I took home from the library this week. He liked it okay eventually but it took several attempts before he'd even let me read it. Not one or an illustrator we'd necessarily seek out again.
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