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Tale of Five Balloons

One of Israel’s favorite classics, Tale of Five Balloons is among the first books read to toddlers in pre-school.

When Ruthie’s mother brings home a wonderful surprise – five colorful balloons – the children are thrilled. But when they go for a walk with their beautiful balloons, disaster strikes: Uri’s balloon bursts on a rose bush, and when Ron’s Dad enthusiastically blows up the yellow balloon, it bursts too. Sigalit’s kitten gets her claws into the lovely purple balloon, and Ruthie hugs hers so tightly that it bursts! All four children are very sad. Only Alon’s red balloon is still ok, until the wind snatches it up, and away. The children watch it float away and wave goodbye – they have learned to accept the disappointment of losing their balloons.

This deceptively simple book works on many levels, and Miriam Roth introduces toddlers to various experiments with humour. For example, what happens to a balloon when you scratch it or squeeze it? This book can be read and performed simultaneously, with the active participation of the young audience.

Tale of Five Balloons is the best selling Hebrew picture book of all times. It sold since publication, back in 1974, more than 900,000 copies and is still selling at least 35,000 copies a year.

Arabic, Korean
Title Tale of Five Balloons
Writer's Last Name Roth
Writer's First Name Miriam
Genre Children
Ages 2-5
Illustrations Ora Ayal
Publisher (Hebrew) Sifriat Poalim
No. Pages 27pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Maʹase Be-Chamisha Balonim