The Start of Something Big by Annahita de la Mare: The Start of Something Big is a beautifully illustrated picture book, perfect for encouraging little girls to be bold and courageous. When three cousins Alice, Hannah and Rosie discover their grandma’s old, battered hot air balloon in the shed, they decide to fix it up and take a trip to visit her. Of course it’s not long before they are courageous hot air balloon pilots, embarking on a hair-raising journey to Grandma’s. We enjoyed this original sweet story and love how Grandma hints at the adventures that await them now; she tells her granddaughters that this is the start of something big. My four year old loved the pictures and found parts of the story very funny, and all of it exciting. We also read the second book together (The Perfect Rainy Day). Now she is wondering where in the world the hot air balloon will take them next, and so the stories paved the way for discussions about different countries of the world, and out came the picture atlas! This is the first of many Hot Air Balloon Adventure stories in which it looks like Alice, Hannah and Rosie will show children what fun life can be when we encourage each other to be brave, and to be open to new experiences. I would recommend reading this book to children aged between four and six, especially if you want to encourage a sense of adventure and an interest in exploring the world.
Julie B, mama and kindergarten assistant, Bavaria, Germany.