THE PURPLE BALLOON by Chris Raschka

THE PURPLE BALLOON

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 3 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

No one explains difficult concepts to children better than Raschka, and this gentle discussion of death is no exception. Using a metaphor almost universally found in the art of dying children, an image of a purple balloon floating free, this deceptively simple and beautifully direct narrative introduces first the passing of an older balloon and then—“There is only one thing harder to talk about than an old person dying”—the death of a child balloon. The unadorned text describes the “many people [who] do what they can to make dying less hard,” from doctors to hospice-care workers to family and friends. Potato-print balloons in many colors float about, classic Raschka faces displaying a range of emotions as they go through the “hard work” of dying and assisting at death, their strings forming hand- and arm-like curlicues to embrace each other throughout. The child balloon turns purple as it dies; the reassuring text tells readers that, “Good help makes dying less hard. / Good help makes leaving easier.” A portion of the proceeds goes to Children’s Hospice International. (Picture book. 3+)

Pub Date: May 8th, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-375-84146-0
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2007




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