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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...)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  116 Ratings  ·  27 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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Lisa Vegan
Sep 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Betty Ortega
Nov 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
*Book Summary
A little girl takes a balloon to the national gallegy she is told that she can not take it in and she decides to leave it outside, and it flys away she began to learn about all the history in the gallery and she pictures the balloon in every place she learns about.
* Grade Level/ Interest level
* Appropriate Classroom Use
read aloud when learning about national land marks
*Student Who Might Benefit From Reading
students who like to read about history
* Small Group Use /
Sam Bloom
Jul 28, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
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.
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.
Nov 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
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.
Feb 27, 2011 rated it liked it
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.
Sydney Matejik
Nov 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Title (italicize): You Can’t Take a Balloon Into The National Gallery
Author: Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman
Illustrator (if separate from author): Robins Preiss Glasser
Genre: Wordless Picture Book
Theme(s): Balloon, Art, Determination, Happiness
Opening line/sentence (type directly from text):
Brief Book Summary (2-3 sentences in your own words): This wordless picture book follows the journey of an orange balloon after its owner trusts a photographer with holding onto it while she visits The National G
Katie Ollenburger
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
You Can't Take a Balloon into the National Gallery is a great wordless picture book. This book can be interpreted many different ways. I imagined that the balloon was bumping around the National Gallery and the little girl was trying to catch her balloon. While chasing the balloon she is exposed to all different parts of the National Gallery. The illustrations in this book are strong and detailed. I like that the illustrator mixes in real photographs with the drawings. This gave the book a reali ...more
Rowan Stewart
As a little girl, my absolute favorite book was You Can't Take A Balloon Into The Metropolitan Museum. I loved being able to see the story unfold and understand what was going on before I could even read. The wordless picture book quickly became my favorite, as I told the story to my parents night after night after night. This newer addition to the You Can't Take a Balloon... series was a delightful surprise, and I found myself thinking back to when I was about 4 years old telling the tale of th ...more
Jan 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  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
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
Randie D. Camp, M.S.
Sep 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Sara Perry
Sep 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jun 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Another book a young art nerd like myself (ages 5-8) would have adored! Once again the young girl is at a museum to visit but can't bring her balloon inside. The balloon has an epic adventure around town while the young girl looks at famous art pieces. I really enjoy the way the artist translated the famous pieces of art into everyday scenes. This book doesn't have any words but this makes for an excellent way for kids to be able to tell their own story.
The Brothers
Mar 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art, balloons, chases
Lovely wordless book about some kids and their mom/grandmother (?) walking through the National Gallery. Because the little girl couldn't bring in her balloon, she leaves it with the person taking pictures of tourists with George Washington. The balloon gets away and off the photographer goes to catch it. Throughout the chase, her experiences and places reflect things the family is seeing in the National Gallery (very creatively!)

Lovely illustrations.
Aug 15, 2011 rated it really liked it

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.
Kathryn Sample
Sep 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a very cute wordless book. I enjoy that there are several pieces to the story. The illustrations are phenomenal. The use of color really makes everything just pop! Such a great story for the imagination!
Jun 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
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.
Apr 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jul 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Cute and textless, something a pre-reader can really enjoy by herself.
A collision of art, history, and urban life that becomes increasingly comical and exciting.
Liz Todd
Sep 21, 2015 rated it it was ok
Too. Much. Just too much.

I think it's brilliant, I just don't have the schema to appreciate it.
Nov 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully illustrated tour of DC and a fun introduction to the art at the National Gallery.
Dec 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A very cute, fun, imaginative book for young readers; expressive through the illustrations, and enjoyable to know. Save the ducks and save this story.
Jun 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was a fun marriage of National History and Art, all tied together with one bright red balloon.
Stacey Douglas
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Apr 22, 2015
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Jun 25, 2010
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Aug 03, 2015
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Jan 08, 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