Thursday, May 8, 2008

Befriending balloons

I am simply taken with this little story and the illustration of Emily's Balloon by Komako Sakai. It was actually more the art I was first drawn to, and then I fell in love with the story. Of course the little Emily reminds me very much of my own Bronwen and Annabelle. 

As I am sure it is with most children, balloons hold such a magical excitement for my little ones. And if I'm honest, for me too. Do you ever remember befriending a colorful balloon, carrying it around all day long,

Being so sad to find it on the floor the next day, the air having escaped in the night. Or worse yet, watching helplessly and with deepest sorrow as it floats away - just beyond your reach and then higher and higher into the clouds - having escaped your fingers.

As a parent I have many many times tried to turn that awful moment around for my weeping tot, describing the wonderful adventures that balloon is about to have. After awhile a little voice joins mine adding to the narration with more ideas and soon there are giggles instead of tears. 

And of course the promise of another balloon

When I was young I watched a movie that made such an impact on me, I still am moved when I think of it. If you've seen The Red Balloon you know what I am talking about. (By the way, I recommend this short but powerful movie by French film maker Albert Lamorisse. His son and daughter both have roles.) I don't know if the library still has a copy of it. We got it from there back when you could check out movie reels and projectors.  It is available on Amazon.


Christine said...

The simple pleasures of childhood. I wish we all could remain this way...but perhaps we can.
I remember the first time Madelyn lost a balloon in the wind. It was devastating. I don't remember what I told her that day. I hope I was as gentle as you.
What a sweet book, Jen. Thanks for sharing.

Jayme said...

Oh precious book! Precious moments of childhood! You certainly have a way of taking me back there and feeling the fondness again as well as the heartbreak.