James and the Birthday Balloon is the second children’s book by Amazon best-selling author Nicola J Rowley.
Oh, and the wonderful Dr Ranj from CBeebies; as seen here singing about poo, and here winning the vote for mums’ favourite children’s TV presenter. Dr Ranj has narrated the audio copy of the book, which is free with every purchase.
£1 from each copy of the book sold goes to the Evelina London Children’s Hospital where the event was held, the very same hospital that features at the beginning of Get Well Soon.
Evidently if there’s one thing I know, it’s my toddler TV shows, to an almost disturbing level.
The story, which was read to us by author Nicola and Dr Ranj, is about a little boy called James.
James goes to his best friend Ruby’s birthday party. Ruby and James each have a lovely big balloon, but Ruby loses hers and then hurts herself trying to chase it. Ruby ends up going to hospital and is sad until James visits her and cheers her up by giving her his own balloon.
The story is very sweet, with some good messages for children. The first is of course that being kind to others can make you feel good as well as making other people happy too, but there is also another important message in there around going to hospital and how it needn’t be scary.
James and the Birthday Balloon is aimed at children aged 3-7. My daughter (aged 4) really enjoyed it, and we have read it together several times and talked about how it is nice to be kind and how it can make others happy.
I’d like to think she would give her balloon to her little brother if he was hurt, but that might be wishful thinking.
We asked the lovely Dr Ranj for his top tips for preparing children for a stay in hospital.
Sadly many children will have to go into hospital at some point during their childhood. Both of mine have already been in; the small one when he was very young and the big one for a few nights last year.
We talked about it when reading the bool; she doesn’t remember it as scary at all but she was only two at the time, perhaps a bit young to have expectations.
Dr Ranj said firstly, that it was important to be honest; answer your child’s questions if they have them. You’re not trying to scare them by going into harrowing detail, but you shouldn’t lie or they won’t trust you. Secondly, learning through play could be beneficial to helping them prepare and understand (he did mention making a CAT scan out of cardboard boxes; I’m certainly not that crafty but I reckon I could manage a pretend check up!), and finally, there are lots of books, apps and websites which are there to help, so make use of them!
Oh, and apparently Dr Ranj has a big part in this year’s CBeebies panto but couldn’t tell us what it was. Tease.
You can WIN a copy of James and the Birthday Balloon signed by author Nicola J Rowley and Dr Ranj here!
You can buy a copy of James and the Birthday Balloon (RRP £7.99) here on Amazon!
We received the book free of charge for the purposes of this review!
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