J’s Christmas Reads: GIVEAWAY James and the Birthday Balloon

James and the Birthday Balloon front cover. James with blonde hair and blue t-shirt and Ruby with red hair and a purple top holding big balloons in a garden with a table and a birthday cake and a present in the background. Ruby has a red balloon, James' is blue.

J loves books, but he hates chocolate, so it makes perfect sense to give him a book advent calendar instead. Some of the books I have chosen are ones which we already own, some will be borrowed from the library and some will be new but we will read a new one each day and call them our special Christmas books. Although many of the books will have a Christmas theme, some will just have a nice message or lesson in them that we can talk about with J. I will blog about many of the books between now and Christmas so you have ideas for stories to read to your own children, or ideas for Christmas gifts for them or family and friends. Next in J’s Christmas Reads series, I have chosen the heartwarming, ‘James and the Birthday Balloon’ by Nicola J. Rowley. ‘James and the Birthday Balloon’ is not a Christmas themed book, but it sends beautiful and important messages about being a good friend, being kind and the importance of thinking about others, which is perfect for this time of year.

‘James and the Birthday Balloon’ is the second book in a series by author, Nicola J. Rowley about James. With a huge smile that can warm all those around him, James enjoys making other people happy. ‘James and the Birthday Balloon’ introduces us to James’ best friend, Ruby. It is Ruby’s birthday and James goes to her party. They have a fabulous time celebrating with their friends and the balloon man even blows up special balloons for Ruby and James. But then poor Ruby falls and hurts herself and has to go to hospital. She feels scared and lonely. Can James cheer her up and help her to feel better?


J really enjoyed reading ‘James and the Birthday Balloon’. He loved the extra big balloons, made a sad face when Ruby hurt herself and was happy with the ending. He also loved the pictures with are bright, colourful and, like James himself, make you smile. We were able to have a nice chat about why Ruby was sad, what cheered her up and how kind James was. I also loved the opportunity to see doctors and hospitals in a positive light as J has been in them a fair amount in his short life and he is very suspicious of them, so reinforcing a positive image was great. I loved being able to talk to J about the book, although it did finish with him talking about his next birthday and what he would like as a present!


One of the additional features of this book, which is fabulous, is the fact that it has a free audiobook read by TV’s Dr Ranj. This is very exciting in itself as J enjoys listening to Dr Ranj on CBeebies Bedtime Stories and understandably he loved listening to the audio book too. Dr Ranj has such a calming voice that it makes ‘James and the Birthday Balloon’ a great bedtime story. Downloading the free audiobook can be completed using a QR scanner (I didn’t have one so quickly added one on my phone). Then you input your email address and a link appears for the audiobook. The link is a Dropbox file which worried me as I don’t have an account, but not to worry it still works – yay! I downloaded it and then it saved it into my downloads folder on my phone and we can now listen to it anywhere. This is very useful when you are out and about with no other form of entertainment but your phone.


James and the Birthday Balloon Photo of Dr Ranj in a light grey suit and white shirt with a black bow tie and stethoscope around his neck.


One of the other wonderful additions to ‘James and the Birthday Balloon’ is that every copy sold will help to support Evelina London Children’s Hospital, which provides care and life-saving treatment for children. I love being able to give back via a purchase so this is a real winner for me.


James and the Birthday Balloon preview page of Ruby sitting on a hospital bed with a doctor in a white top and trousers looking at her leg


Whether you are looking for a nice addition for your book advent calendar, or a heartwarming book to share with your 2-7 year olds, I think that ‘James and the Birthday Balloon’ would be a great addition to your collection. The book is available from Amazon UK and is available as a Paperback or a Kindle edition.



If you would like to win a copy of ‘James and the Birthday Balloon’ by Nicola J. Rowley please enter the giveaway below.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Terms & Conditions

1 paperback copy of ‘James and the Birthday Balloon’  –  no monetary exchange available

Contest is open until Midnight Sunday 12th November 2017

Distribution of  prizes is the responsibility of Nicola J. Rowley

 Adventures with J cannot be held responsible for lost prizes

This post was written in collaboration with Nicola J. Rowley – all opinions are my own

All winner decisions are final – the winner has 48 hours to claim or a new winner will be drawn

UK Entrants Only


I received a copy of ‘James and the Birthday Balloon’ from Nicola J. Rowley in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.








Rachel Bustin

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