Our Favorite Books: Where Do Balloons Go?

December 16, 2006

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“Where do balloons go when you let them go free? It can happen by accident. It happened to me.” This is how this Jamie Lee Curtis classic starts. I’m calling it a classic because it was released in 2000 and has been a favorite of preschool teachers since.

In fact, even though Maya and I discovered “Where Do Balloons Go? An Uplifting Mystery” completely by accident, even before the book became a classroom project, it was pretty clear that the story’s beautiful melody and unique mystery would make it a bedtime favorite. For both of us!

You may have heard about this book already: it’s a fun little ditty about what could balloons possibly be doing when they float free in the sky. Speculation abounds as soon as you turn the first page: “do they catch a cold? …. do they get married and make balloon heirs?…. do they tango with airplanes or cha cha with birds?” The rhymes are entertaining for most three and four year olds and the accompanying removable stickers allow them to engage in a quiet activity before bedtime making up colorful balloon faces.

What fascinates me about the book though is the last spread. It features the illustration of a warm, genuine hug between the parent and child, and reads “Where do balloons go? It’s a mystery, I know. So just hold on tight till you have to let go.”

I might be reading too much into it but I have to admit that I get teary eyed every time I read these last words. It reminds me of how fleeting time with our children is and suddenly the balloon becomes a metaphor for Maya as I feel the tears welling up.

So in short, I’m as addicted to this book as little Maya and it definitely makes it on Our Favorite Books list. Now available in hardcover on Amazon for only $11.55.

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