Picture Book Party Spring 2018
PBParty 6: Alfred, The Exploding Poodle
Alfred, The Exploding Poodle
Word Count:

“Balloons always end in tragedy.” That’s what Lucy’s older sister Jessica says when Lucy buys a balloon animal at the fair. Lucy doesn’t care. She loves her new blue poodle Alfred so much she gives him a big hug…and he explodes! Her next poodle, also named Alfred, meets with a nasty end at the dart game. The third gets taken out by a hot funnel cake. But, just when it looks like Lucy has bought her last Alfred, Jessica finds a way to make a new and more durable balloon poodle out of the broken pieces of the others.

Based on the brief life of my daughter’s balloon poodle, who tragically exploded on his birthday, Alfred the Exploding Poodle hilariously captures the joy and sorrow of balloon ownership. Complete at 720 words, it has the unlikely and fragile friendship of Sophie’s Squash by Pat Zietlow Miller, combined with the playful sibling dynamics of I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato by Lauren Child.

I am a children’s librarian in Northern California, where I enjoy sharing picture books with kids (and adults!) of all ages. I have written articles for Mental Floss and Odyssey magazines, and I maintain a popular blog called The Loudest Librarian.

Thank you so much for running the #PBParty contest!


One summer night at the fair, Lucy saw a man selling balloon animals.

“Can you make a giraffe?” Lucy asked the man.

“I can make a poodle,” the man said.

“Can you make a flower?” Lucy asked.

“I can make a poodle,” the man said.

“Can you make a kangaroo?” Lucy asked.

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This contest entry was posted on Tuesday, 3 April 2018.