WHERE DO BALLOONS GO? by Jamie Lee Curtis

WHERE DO BALLOONS GO?

An Uplifting Mystery
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 8

KIRKUS REVIEW

Movie star Curtis allows her young versifier’s imagination a little foot room in this query of what happens to those balloons that get loose. “Where do they go / when they float far away? / Do they ever catch cold / and need somewhere to stay?” There are notes of disquiet sounded—“Do they keep going up? / Can they ever just stop? / I’m sure that they’re always / concerned that they’ll POP”—and there are hopes that the balloons are having a good time, maybe just kicking back and relaxing. Most of all, there is wonder about what’s up there—“Do the stars give a shove? / And send it on high / to that place up above”—and a desire for the balloon to be thrilling to its freedom. Cornell’s watery ink-and-wash illustrations are filled with sly references that adult readers will love. As the purple balloon disappears, the media crowd in, the police take notes, and the child narrator whispers, “round . . . purple . . . knots” to the inquiring reporter. Throughout, balloons sit in chairs in the doctor’s office or carry a suitcase to the Bates Motel. Signs advertise “the Detanglers” and balloons advertise various businesses like “Pauline’s Pedicures” (a foot-shaped balloon) or “Dr. Chas Collagen (1 800 LIPS).” The movie double feature is The Red Balloon and Around the World in Eighty Days. A double-paged fold out is required for THE BIG BALLOON DANCE, which must occur if they all get together wherever they go. Curtis (Today I Feel Silly, 1998, etc.) keeps the tale nimble, not dwelling too long on any one aspect of the balloon’s release—a sense of loss, having to let go, hopes, fears—making the mood optimistic rather than melancholy. Lighter than air. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-06-027980-X
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2000




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