In this illustrated children’s tale, two friends go on a ballooning adventure.
A child and a dog decide to see something of the world, so they step into a hot air balloon. The two travelers lose their way for a time as wind, rain, and mist obscure their surroundings. As they drift through storms, sunshine, and snowflakes, the friends discover that even bad-weather days have “their brighter moments.” They see beautiful and varied sights as they float above everything, guided by the stars until their safe return home. Carmel (Lucy Lick-Me-Not and the Day Eaters, 2014, etc.) combines minimal text with luscious acrylic-on-canvas illustrations of blue and purple dotted, swished, or dabbed with contrasting pinks, whites, and greens. The child and dog are always depicted as black silhouettes that show surprising personality, as with the dog’s cocked ears; the silhouettes also help the book’s inclusivity, as there are no cues about race or sex (the child is short-haired and wears a simple shirt and pants). Although the artwork is the real draw here, the tale is also told charmingly, sweetly reassuring children that venturing into the world has rewards as well as uncertainties, and that “Home would always be there.” The story also works well as a bedtime book, preparing children for a journey into dreams.
An appealing, encouraging picture book.