Kirkus Reviews QR Code
EMILY’S BALLOON by Komako Sakai


by Komako Sakai & illustrated by Komako Sakai

Age Range: 1 - 5

Pub Date: May 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-8118-5219-9
Publisher: Chronicle

Author and illustrator Sakai’s gracefully executed tale illuminates the pure joy with which toddlers embrace even the most ordinary occurrences. In this simply worded story about a young girl and her new balloon, Sakai tracks Emily’s interactions with the balloon, which—with the swiftness of youthful affections—rapidly transforms into a devoted and loving relationship. When her beloved balloon escapes its anchor and gets tangled in a tree, Emily is heartbroken. However, she soon finds solace in its steadfast and benevolent presence outside her window. While Sakai hones her narrative into sparsely worded text, her eloquently rendered illustrations convey a richly emotional story. The framed sketches rely only on a small sampling of hues to enrich the characters, while the backgrounds are devoid of much detail. Yet, each vignette resonates with feeling thanks to Sakai’s deft artistry and expressiveness imbued in the drawings. The brevity of text combined with relatively simple illustrations make this tale perfectly suited to a toddler’s interest, working well for either cozy shared storytime or for larger groups during read-aloud sessions. (Picture book. 1-5)