James and The Birthday Balloon

James and The Birthday Balloon Missuswolf

I’ve kindly been gifted a copy of James and the Birthday Balloon by Nicola Rowley to read with Ella.

Nicola J Rowley Missuswolf

Nicola read to her son within weeks of him being born.

Nicola and I have a few things in common; we love writing and we love to see the enjoyment our children get from reading books.

I’m keen to support my daughter’s interest and love of books while at the same time supporting up and coming author’s.

This is the second book in the James and the … series following on from the successful first book James and the Amazing Gift.

James and The Birthday Balloon Front Cover Missuswolf

Although aimed at 3-7 year olds, it is a very engaging picture book, so Ella was able to interact with the imagery.

She may not understand much of the story yet, but she recognises items in the illustrations.

For example, she will point at the balloons and say ‘balloons!’ in her excited little voice.

Likewise for the tree and the flowers.

She has a habit of sitting listening to me read to her and then halfway through, she pulls the book out of my hands. And sits and reads it to herself.


Not word for word. Or any of the words for that matter.

But in her own gobble-dey-goo language.

And it was no different with this book.

She sat and listened, looking at the pictures. Her little voice would squeak ‘Balloons!’ ‘Tree!’ ‘Flowers’.

At times, she even turned her head to watch my mouth pronounce the words.


So on that note, even though it’s aimed at 3-7 year olds, the book does engage younger children. It encourages them with their recognition of imagery – such as the balloons, tree and flowers.


The book also encourages random acts of kindness. Which I think is an extremely powerful thing to do. We live in what can be such a cruel world at times and we need to spread love, kindness and positivity.

We need to empower a new generation that is thoughful and selfless.

By creating stories like Nicola has in her James and the … series, she is teaching children the importance of kindness and friendship.

There’s also a message of reasurance to children too if they need to attend hospital.

James and The Birthday Balloon Missuswolf

Children have fears and going to hospital tends to be one of them.

Although Ella doesn’t understand the messages in this book just yet, I feel they are very important ones for her. So we will continue to read the book and, as she develops, I can’t wait to watch her understanding of it change.

The paperback version of this book also features a free audiobook -narrated by none other than TV’s Dr Ranj Singh. Children will recognise his voice from his show on Cbeebies.

James and the birthday balloon Dr Ranj

And you can be super pleased that your purchase of the book also goes to helping a worthy cause. £1 from every sale goes to the Evelina London Children’s Hospital, which provides care and life-saving treatment for children in south London and beyond.

Check out Nicola’s website too where you can download FREE colouring sheets from the illustrator of her books.

What an awesome idea!

Take them with you to restaurants. That’s where I need distraction activities the most. So these colouring sheets will come in handy for my hangry-low-attention-span child.

A fuzzy-feel-good piece of fiction with positive messages. The kind of messages that wouldn’t go amiss if we adopted them in the adult world too.

Smaller Images JBB (3 of 3)

~Where to Find Nicola J. Rowley~

Nicola J Rowley


James and The Birthday Balloon Front Cover Missuswolf

Love Missuswolf xxx

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