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Ready Set Draw! A Balloon & Bird from the ‘JOURNEY’ Trilogy

After reading Aaron Becker’s Journey trilogy (JourneyQuest, and Return) a child may dream of escaping to a far off land like Pallonezia. What a thrill it must be to soar above the city in a giant red balloon made by using the power of imagination! Or, to be a beautiful purple bird gliding in the sky!

Aaron Becker returns to Ready Set Draw! to teach KidLit TV viewers how to create the big red balloon and purple bird from the Journey trilogy. Like his watercolor painting episode of Ready Set Draw! Aaron makes art accessible by demonstrating how basic shapes are used to create more complex objects. Will you join Aaron on this artistic quest?

We’d love to add your artwork to the Ready Set Draw Art Gallery!

Did you, your child, or a student create their own watercolor paintingl after watching this episode? Share your images with us!  Post them on our KidLit TV Facebook page OR use the hashtag #ReadySetDraw on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter so we can find you! We can’t wait to see what you’ve made!

  • Sketch pad
  • Red marker
  • Purple marker
  • Pencil

Kids can substitute markers with paint, colored pencils, or crayons of the same color! Encourage them to get creative and try new things.

Ready Set Draw - Aaron Becker -Balloon Bird Pinterest


Learn basic watercolor painting with Aaron Becker!
Ready Set Draw Aaron Becker Watercolors



Return - Journey Trilogy

Written and illustrated by Aaron Becker
Published by Candlewick Press

Failing to get the attention of her busy father, a lonely girl turns back to a fantastic world for friendship and adventure. It’s her third journey into the enticing realm of kings, emperors, castles, canals, exotic creatures and enchanting landscapes. This time, it will take something truly powerful to persuade her to return home.

Quest - Journey Trilogy

Written and illustrated by Aaron Becker
Published by Candlewick Press

A king emerges from a hidden door in a city park, startling two children sheltering from the rain. He  gives the children a map and some strange objects, than he is captured by hostile forces that whisk him back through the enchanted door. Just like that, the children are caught up in a quest to rescue the king and his kingdom from darkness, while illuminating the farthest reaches of their imagination. Colored markers in hand, they make their own way through the portal, under the sea, through a tropical paradise, over a perilous bridge, and high in the air with the help of a winged friend.

Journey - Journey Trilogy

Written and illustrated by Aaron Becker
Published by Candlewick Press

A lonely girl draws a magic door on her bedroom wall and through it escapes into a world where wonder, adventure, and danger abound. Red marker in hand, she creates a boat, a balloon, and a flying carpet that carry her on a spectacular journey toward an uncertain destiny. When she is captured by a sinister emperor, only an act of tremendous courage and kindness can set her free. Can it also lead her home and to her heart’s desire?


Like many American boys born in the wake of the Apollo missions, Aaron Becker decided early on he would be an astronaut. His mother was an astronomy teacher at a local college in his hometown Baltimore. She would take him along on her nighttime field-trips to the observatory; its musky smell relieved with the opening of its domed roof. At some point, he surmised that a career in actual space travel required military training, and this seemed like a lot of work. So he switched gears and started drawing pictures of outer space instead. There was palpable joy in this: creating civilizations and stories filled with a cast of characters of my own design. To be sure, these worlds were reflections of places inside of him. But more importantly, drawing was an immediate path for creating something he could manage on his own terms. These worlds were his and his alone. With a pad of paper and a set of markers, he could pretty much do whatever he wanted. For an eight year old confined by the limitations of his material existence, this seemed like a pretty good deal.

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