Emily's Balloon

Written and Illustrated by: Komako Sakai

Before Reading

Explore and Discover

Begin your read-through by talking to your child about what s/he sees on the cover, and make observations and predictions as you go along. We've listed many questions throughout this guide so don't feel the need to get to all the questions in one reading! Your child benefits the most from multiple readings of a story, so ask a few questions from each section every time you read! Try using prompts and questions like:

What do you see on the cover?

This story is called _______. What do you think will happen in this story?

{Flip to an illustration} Can you find the balloon in this picture? Can you find Emily?


For younger children who might not be able to respond verbally, discuss these topics yourself and be sure to point to different elements as you describe them.

As You Read

Build Language

Encourage your child to stop when (s)he gets to a new word in the story. See if (s)he can discover its meaning by using the illustrations and words surrounding it. Examples of new words from Emily's Balloon include:

  2. STUCK


Monitor Comprehension

Let your child make inferences and connections to their own life while reading. For example, when Emily first gets her balloon, she sees another child's balloon drift up into the air from across the street. Once you've read "Oops!", ask "Why do you think she is saying 'Oops'?" Also, when Emily's mother tries to get the balloon down from the tree, ask, "What do you think she is using to get the balloon down? Have you ever lost anything? How did that make you feel? How do you think Emily feels?"

After Reading

Make Connections

Help your child look at the story as a whole once you've completed your read-through by asking/discussing questions like:

Did you like that story? What was your favorite part?

If you couldn't get to something you loved very much, how would you feel? Why? Is this the same way that Emily feels?

Do you think Emily's mother will get the balloon down from the tree? How?

Extending the Story

Water Bottle Fountain

Source: Learn With Play At Home

Supplies: empty water bottle, balloon, straw and blu-tac


This is a fantastic activity that incorporates balloons in a fun and educational way. Your child will learn that air takes up space and although we can't see it, it's there! Check out Learn With Play At Home for the details and be sure to read the tips listed at the bottom that will help you adjust the activity based on your child's needs. 

Did you buy a full bag of balloons and don't know what to do with all of them? Check out more fun balloon activities here!