UnPOPpable_1 / by Tim Hopgood

Ideas are funny things - they have a habit of popping into your head when you least expect it. Which is exactly what happened with ‘UnPOPpable’.

Last summer, I was walking past York Minster when I heard someone shout, ‘It’s unPOPpable!’ It was the word that grabbed my attention at first and then I saw a man struggling to keep hold of a bright orange balloon. Seeing an adult get so excited about a balloon made me laugh and started me thinking: if a balloon could be unPOPpable, then would that make it unstoppable? And if a balloon were unstoppable, how far would it go?

I didn’t have a notebook or a pen, so I kept that orange balloon in my head by thinking over the ideas that would make up the story. I started to think about how to show in pictures that a balloon was unPOPpable. What would make a balloon go pop? I then began to put these thoughts in order - starting with a boy standing on his unPOPpable balloon, then seeing it in a rose bush and then watching it float up into a holly tree and up towards the sky.

By the time I got home I had the text pretty much worked out in my head. But there was no way I was going to risk ‘UnPOPpable’ escaping now. So instead of unpacking my shopping, I sat down and wrote out my idea on paper. Later that evening, I did a couple of drawings of a small boy standing on his big yellow unPOPpable!

I'll be posting more on 'UnPOPpable' over the next few weeks.