You Can’t Take a Balloon into the Metropolitan Museum - Thao Lam
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You Can’t Take a Balloon into the Metropolitan Museum

You Can’t Take a Balloon into the Metropolitan Museum

You Can’t Take a Balloon into the Metropolitan Museum

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Last week was Binky’s birthday; he turned 6. There was cake, party hats and balloons. Like all cats he wasn’t impressed by all the party fuss, but he did enjoy spending the evening with friends and getting his belly rubbed. Keep reading…

I thought we could continue the celebration with You Can’t Take a Balloon Into The Metropolitan Museum. Conceived and illustrated by sisters Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman and Robin Preiss Glasser, this wordless story was inspired by true events. Balloons are a must at parties but are frowned upon at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. On a visit to the museum with her grandma, a little girl must leave her balloon outside. The balloon is tied safely to the rails until a mischievous pigeon comes along and releases it. The story follows the great balloon chase as it weaves its way through the city.

Crowded like New York City, the pages are filled with detailed pen and ink drawings of eccentric characters and famous New York City landmarks. Glasser gives us a glimpse into the daily lives of New Yorkers, capturing the diversity and energy of the city. With so much going on, Glasser uses colour to highlight the central action and help lead readers through the story. It’s very clever how she introduces culture and art into the story by inserting reproductions of Metropolitan Museum pieces into the illustrations. Even more clever is the subtle way in which she demonstrates how life reflects art by having whatever action is going on around the balloon mirror the famous piece of art being viewed by the little girl and her grandma. You Can’t Take a Balloon Into The Metropolitan Museum is uproariously funny.

You Can’t Take a Balloon Into The Metropolitan Museum, a children’s book review by Thao Lam

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Author Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman

There is very little information on author Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman. If anyone out there has any info, please share.

I am always tickled pink when an author or an illustrator, takes time out of their busy schedule to reply to a fan mail.

“I got a phone call one day from my sister, Jacqueline, who lives in NYC. Another one of our 3 sisters was visiting her in Manhattan with her 3 year old daughter and they went to the Carousel in the park, bought a balloon, then to the Met, for my niece’s first time at a big museum. At the entrance, a guard wouldn’t let them in with the balloon, which destroyed my niece and threatened to ruin the whole day. This was solved by tying the balloon to the garbage can outside, and the whole time they were inside, my niece worried about the balloon to distraction.

Thus, a children’s book idea was born. My sister Jacqueline, and I made up the rest…”

– Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman –

Illustrator Robin Preiss Glasser

Robin Preiss Glasser danced for the Pennsylvania Ballet Company for 11 years before going back to school to become an illustrator. At the age of 30 she graduated from Parsons The New School for Design with a Bachelors in Art. Deeply rooted in the theater Glasser continues to stay involved, designing theater sets, costumes, playbills and posters. Her passion for entertaining lends itself well to children’s books; she is still telling stories, only with a different medium and appealing to a much younger audience.

Looking to be further entertained? Robin Preiss Glasser also illustrated the wildly popular children’s series Fancy Nancy, check out and

Publisher Dial; 1st edition (October 1, 1998)

ISBN-10 0803723016

ISBN-13 978-0803723016