My Yellow Balloon
Author: Tiffany Papageorge
Illustrator: Erwin Madrid
Published October 1st, 2014 by Minoan Moon Publishing
Publisher’s Summary: It all started at the carnival…That’s where Joey makes a new friend: a bright yellow balloon. Joey and his beloved balloon do everything together, until the balloon accidentally slips off Joey’s wrist and flies far, far away. What will Joey do without his special friend?
Tiffany Papageorge has crafted a poignant tale of love, loss, and letting go that will serve as a comforting guide to children who are navigating the complicated emotions of grief. Learn more about Tiffany at her Facebook page or Linkedin.
Kellee’s Review: This book’s illustrations blew my mind. They are beautiful! Before I can talk about anything else, I definitely have to address how impressed I was by them. Luckily, the story is just as good as the illustrations. My Yellow Balloon is about Joey and his yellow balloon and the loss of the balloon he became attached to. This is the second book I’ve read recently about loss and grief. I think it is so important that there are picture books out there for kids dealing with tough situations. I like the way that this book symbolizes the loss by showing that Joey’s world lost color and using a fold out to show perspective as the balloon is lost. It was very well done.
Ricki’s Review: I agree with Kellee that the text features of this book are remarkable. When the color of the illustrations shift, my stomach felt like they were tied in knots, and I felt Joey’s sorrow. The language used to depict the ways Joey comes to terms with his grief are realistic and will be very helpful for children. This book should be a staple in classrooms. Even if students are not experiencing grief at the time of the story, it will help them cope with, unfortunately, the inevitability of this topic.
Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: This book could be used to talk about the concept of theme. The theme is quite evident and would inspire great discussions. Loss and grief are something that all children can connect to, and My Yellow Balloon would be a great jumping off point for this discussion.
Discussion Questions: Have you lost anything special to you? How did you feel?; Why did the author take away the colors after Joey lost his balloon?; How is the sun symbolic for Joey? Can the balloon be considered a symbol?
“The balloon man wrapped the string around Joey’s wrist and said, ‘Here, let me tie you two together.’ From that moment on, they were never apart.”
Read This If You Loved: Knock, Knock by Daniel Beaty, I’ll Always Love You by Hans Wilhem, Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson
**Thank you to Christine at New Shelves Distribution for providing copies for review!**