So KIPPER…..and I dont mean the fish thats often eaten at breakfast, I mean the little fun loving pooch we all should know from the amazing creator Mick Inkpen. From books to screens, Im sure at some point you will have come across Kipper and certainly been taken in by his character.
This year sees the little dog turn 30 years old! Im not quite as old as him, but I did grow up reading the books and watching Martin Clunes bring the much loved character to life on our television screens.
When we had kids, we both agreed that books would become a huge part of their lives and supporting them to spark imaginations. So unsurprisingly the much loved Kipper books that we enjoyed when we were younger were added to the book collection from the beginning.
Zachs favourite has to be Kipper A to Z as he loves the Zebra who keeps interrupting at the end letters.
We have most of the book collection now and they are well loved with the boys but I will admit that I am the one who requests them the most. So when I was contacted asking if I would not only like to be part of the Blog Tour and review the 30th anniversary “Kippers The Blue Balloon” but to also create something amazing with a Blue Balloon, I jumped at the chance.
If you follow me on social media you will probably have seen how much I enjoy an Art and Crafts project so I was eager to get my teeth into this one.
The Book Review
Reading The Blue Balloon to the boys brought back some good memories from when I was at school all them years ago and listening to this story sat crossed leg on the carpet. I could have probably recalled each page of it from memory.
To run through the story briefly, Kipper finds an old soggy blue balloon after a birthday party which his companion finds odd as he didn’t have any blue balloons. It doesn’t take the little boy long to realise the balloon is special; no matter how much you blow it up it keeps getting bigger and bigger! The boys were glued to the story and I think this story is a little longer than the others we have from Mick Inkpen which is a bonus.
There are some exciting pull outs through the pages which will have the younger readers engrossed and interactive with the pages. As always the illustrations are heartwarming and tell the story perfectly for younger readers.
Any book that you can recall from your childhood must be good to leave a lasting impression. I only hope that the boys remember the books fondly from their childhood and go on to share with their children one day.
What we did with our BLUE BALLOON
Back in your school days I bet you made plenty of paper mache projects. I used to do love doing them when I was younger and at school; peeling off the excess pva from your skin! Ahh them were the days eyy?!
So since the book catapulted me back to my childhood; I thought it would be a great idea to make a craft project that we enjoyed from our childhood.
Our eldest is no stranger to paper mache – last year we created the witch from Room on the Broom for part of his birthday party decor and he helped every step of the way. Maybes a little too much for the Missus’s liking, who likes everything to be perfect. The kind of person where anything that is created or done is like a Pinterest post. Yeah she’s a perfectionist in that respect.
I had a few other ideas going on when I was initially approached to do this project as part of the Blue Balloon blog tour. Some of them were unfortunately already taken and others that were ridiculously elaborate and I rained it in a little.
So we basically blew up the blue balloon to a good size and then slathered it in pva glue and teared up strips of newspaper, giving it a good couple of layers and leaving it to harden. We then added some ears with the cardboard tubes and cut them to give us the best shape for Kippers ears. Once it had a good few coats of the paper/glue and had dried overnight, we got to painting it. We ensured that we tried to keep the colours as close as possible and then all that was left to do was draw on his eyes, nose and mouth!
I must admit I did find even this idea a bit of a challenge as I struggled with how I was going to mould everything into a dogs head. I had visions of making the snout and ears with separate balloons but it was becoming difficult and in the end we opted for the simple version. We are still happy with the results and the main objective we certainly achieved; we enjoyed spending time together reading the books and creating a craft project.
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