Toddler Emily receives a bright yellow balloon and quickly learns why just about every small child is fascinated by them. She brings the balloon with her as she moves through her daily routine and, without knowing it, learns how helium contributes to the toy’s unwieldy behavior.
The balloon begins to symbolize a new companion, and Emily is pleased with their blossoming friendship. Even when the two are temporarily separated (due to the balloon’s transcendence into very tall tree) she continues to imagine how she and the balloon will spend their time.
The story is short and sweet and marks the beginning of a young girl’s fascination with a fleeting toy. The illustrations are just as simple as the story, making the two a perfect combination. Each picture is delicate and enhances the story, leaving no doubt that the Japanese Picture Book Prize awarded to author Komako Sakai’s was well-deserved.
Any child who has the usual fascination with brightly-colored helium-filled balloons will enjoy watching the development of this poignant and unusual friendship. Emily’s Balloon is a wonderfully written and illustrated story likely to appeal to children of all ages.
Lori West/2006 for curled
up with a good kid's book