Posted by: Kathy Temean | November 22, 2020

Book Giveaway: BILLY AND THE BALLOONS by Elizabeth Dale

Elizabeth Dale has written a new picture book, BILLY AND THE BALLOONS, illustrated by Patrick Corrigan and published by Sterling Press. They have agreed to share a copy with one lucky winner.

All you have to do to get in the running is leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know other things you do to share the good news, so I can put the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

Sharing on Facebook, Twitter or reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. So, thanks for helping Elizabeth and Patrick.

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. Thanks!


Fly up, up, and away with Billy! When the wind takes Billy and his colorful balloons on a ride in the sky, he ends up having the most magical Christmas ever.

A small boy + a big bunch of balloons = magic! Billy’s dad has a special touch with balloons, turning them into every imaginable shape and creature. But one Christmas Eve, the wind whips up and tiny Billy finds himself and his father’s balloons floating away through the clouds. Lots of friends, both human and animal, scurry to the rescue—but instead of bringing Billy down to earth, one by one they end up coming along for the ride. Will Billy succeed in landing safely . . . and help Santa and his tired reindeer deliver their presents too?


I became a children’s writer not just because I love writing, but when I became a mother and started reading to my young children, I was reminded just how much fun children’s books can be. But there were two more important reasons – firstly, I wanted to help children learn to love books so much that reading would become a hobby that would enrich their whole lives, and secondly I hoped that some of my books could help to reassure children about problems that might be bothering them.  If all that sounds a bit worthy, I must stress that above all, I became a children’s writer because I just love it so much – it’s the most fun job in the world! Whilst I have been unable yet to achieve representation by an agent, I have had over eighty books, including Billy and the Balloons, accepted for publication  following submission to publishers myself, so I would highly recommend to other authors and illustrators hoping for an agent to continue submitting their material themselves in the meantime.

One of the themes I love to cover in my books is the need to be kind to each other – something I feel we need more than ever these days. So when I sat down to write a story to reassure children about a possible common problem  – that being small was very limiting – I thought ,  ‘wouldn’t it be great if a child who was fed up of being too small to help, actually ended up being very helpful indeed because he was small?’. And so the idea for Billy and the Balloons popped into my head.  I decided to set the story at Christmas because it is such a magical time of year – and the scope for beautiful illustrations as Billy floats up above the snowy landscape would be wonderful, and if Billy on his journey wants to help someone, then who better in the whole wide world for him to help… than Santa Claus?! Especially if, by helping to save Santa and his reindeer, Billy can save Christmas?!

And so the story took flight, Billy was whisked up on a magical balloon flight because he was so tiny, but it was because he was so small that he was able to save the day for Santa!  Who else was light enough to ride on the sleigh with Santa when his reindeer were tired, and tiny enough to squeeze down the chimneys when Santa had eaten too many pies?

I was delighted when my story was accepted and as soon as my publishers asked me to recommend an illustrator, I didn’t hesitate to suggest Patrick Corrigan, whose illustrations for my previous picture book, Save The Day for Ada May, had captured the humour of that story so well. I knew he would convey the fun of Billy’s adventure, and I had hoped for some pretty snowy scenes, but his stunningly beautiful illustrations, including the fold-out page, far exceeded what I had imagined – they quite took my breath away.  I also have to thank all the animals who tried to help Billy and somehow  wrote themselves into the story and added to  the ‘kindness’ theme!

The journey from the acceptance of the script to the final publishing of Billy and the Balloons has been a very happy experience. It was written long before the pandemic began, but in this year when life has been so difficult for everyone, especially children, I hope this magical-looking book will bring fun, sparkle and joy, as well as reassurance  that, just like Santa’s deliveries, everything will soon be as it should.


Once upon a time Elizabeth Dale dreamed of being a writer, but maybe because the wicked fairy wasn’t invited to her christening, she was led astray into the strange, confusing world of studying for a physics degree and managing the health service. Finally she came to her senses and began her writing career  labouring on a portable typewriter with keys that jammed, battling with re-writes, tippex and carbon paper to produce her big novel  that no-one wanted to publish. Vowing never again to spend so much effort writing something nobody wanted to publish, she bought a computer and quickly progressed to writing teenage and adult magazine fiction, which both shared the same major attractions – they were much shorter and far more fun.  After her three daughters were born, she was re-introduced to the amazing world of children’s books which, as well as being short and even more fun to write, came with the wonderful bonus of allowing her to stop pretending to be grown up and stay a child at heart.

Her picture book Save The Day for Ada May! has just won its third Award. She has recently ventured into writing non-fiction picture books, with her latest, Trailblazer, telling the inspiring true story of the battle for women to play football 100 years ago.

Elizabeth lives in rural West Sussex, where she sits with her laptop keeping her knees warm and looks out at the garden, letting her imagination run riot, exploring the child within and trying never to grow old.

Her three daughters have now grown up and all three, Katie Dale, Jenny Jinks and Caroline Walker, are children’s authors, too.

She has had over 2000 stories (teenage and adult) published all over the world, and has had  over 80 children’s books published/commissioned.

Please find out more about Elizabeth at: 

Website -www 

Twitter –
Facebook –


Patrick Corrigan was born on a crisp, cold December day in a small, cloudy town in Cheshire, England. With a passion for precision as a child, he grew up patiently drawing and designing arts and crafts.

This took him to study ceramics at University, train as an art teacher and eventually become an Art Director at a busy design studio where he worked for nearly 10 years. Whilst there he honed his skills working on well over 500 educational and picture books for children as well as animations and branding.

Patrick lives and works in the UK using Photoshop, Illustrator and sometimes even real art equipment to create his work. He specialises in illustrating picture books for younger readers and draws best when listening to podcasts or dusty old records and drinking gallons of green tea.

He is represented by Astound US Inc, prints of his work are available here. Please drop him an email with any illustration, design, art direction or animation enquiries.

Thank you Elizabeth for sharing your book and journey with us. I love that we have a new Christmas story and book. It looks like so much fun. I am sure kids and their parents will love the story and the illustration that Patrick created really make this a stand-out book. I would be the perfect gift for a young child. Good luck with the book.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. This is fabulous — another wonderful book to add to my Christmas Book Collection. Thank you, All! I am a newsletter subscriber.


  2. Wow – no agent and look at all your success -so happy for you! Congrats on your wonderful new book!


  3. This book looks amazingly fun! Congratulations, Elizabeth and Patrick! Thanks, Kathy. I’m a subscriber and posted this on Twitter.


  4. What magical illustrations, with the colorful balloons against the white snow.


  5. Congrats, Elizabeth and Patrick! Can’t wait to read this.


  6. What a unique and fun spin on a Christmas story! Congratulations to you both!


  7. This sounds like a really fun story and I love the snowy illustrations as well. Thanks for the chance to win a copy!
    I’ve tweeted a link to this post:, and shared an image on Pinterest with a link as well:
    I also follow your blog daily by email: crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com.
    Thanks again, have a great weekend all!!


  8. What a delightful story! And the illustrations are so sweet:)


  9. What an original holiday story. It looks like it would be fun any time of year, too. The illustrations are so appealing. (Kathy, I subscribe to your blog.)


  10. I do love Christmas stories. This looks like a great one! Can’t wait to read it. Congrats to both of you!

    I follow by email and I will tweet this post. 🙂


  11. This sounds like a fun and wonderful book. Love the reindeer on the cover 🙂 Congratulations!

    (Kathy, I follow your blog too)


  12. […] Book Giveaway: BILLY AND THE BALLOONS by Elizabeth Dale — Writing and Illustrating […]


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