Monday evening and the rain is falling...🎼. We raced through the evening, dashed towards bedtime and stole under the covers for a marathon ‘Hot Air Balloon Adventure’ series. Annahita de la Mare’s ‘Hot Air Balloon Adventures’ aren’t just for Christmas, they’re for life (as the old advert goes)but when it’s Christmas and you’re trying to do something special with your reading, a marathon read of all four books written by @mdlmbooks and illustrated by @jmk.illus is not only warranted but necessary. I’ve spoken about our family’s love for the Hot Air Balloon adventures before so I’ll just talk about the latest edition here, which Annahita very kindly sent to Bonu. Titled ‘The Lost Stories’, it is the first of the books where Grandma joins the girls on their adventures. This time, the quest for some lost stories brings the girls and their grandmother to Switzerland where they encounter some quintessential Swiss landscape and wildlife, signs of global warming as well as the promise of more stories around the corner. We also discover that Grandma, like the girls, is capable of anything that she puts her mind to. I’ve spoken to quite a few Swiss mums who love these books as much as we do and we have good reason to be too. They feel special. There’s action, adventure, the overcoming of fear, camaraderie, representation, diversity, inclusion, STEAM ...My son enjoys reading them and my daughter enjoys the stories being read to her. Fancy a funny story? Now, one of the signs that a book is loved in our household is that I’ll go and lose it (till date I’ve lost Paperdolls, Funnybones, The Gruffalo, Stickman and three Harry Potters) and that’s exactly what I did with this one. I put it somewhere easily accessible for safekeeping and um, safekeeping and then forgot where. When the children demanded all four books tonight, I faffed and panicked. As ‘The Lost Stories’ is set in Switzerland, they are both very fond of it. Luckily, with minutes to spare, I found it in my teaching bag because somehow, the whole world ends up there. I hope we have a world’s worth of stories heading our way in 2019. The world needs more people like the girls and of course, Grandma.