We received this book in exchange for an honest review.
Review Date: April 23rd, 2019
Written by: Jessie Oliveros
Illustrated by: Dana Wulfekotte
James has a lot of balloons. They’re where he keeps his memories.
Grandpa has a lot of balloons. Birthdays and long-ago summers, weddings and special camping trips-Grandpa’s balloons hold so many great stories. James loves to hear them all.
But when Grandpa’s balloons start drifting away, James wants to catch them. He can’t.
James now has to be the one to share stories-to share his balloons with Grandpa.
As someone who’s grandpa had Alzheimer’s I really appreciate this book. It imagines important memories as different colored balloons that we carry around with us and collect more of as we age. The young boy loves to ask his grandpa about the balloons he has and hear the stories behind them. But soon he notices that his grandpa’s balloons are drifting away. He tries to help him catch them, but his grandpa doesn’t even seem to notice that they’re going. Until one day his grandpa has no balloons at all. It’s a very jarring thing for the boy to watch his grandpa completely forget the stories he has told him so often. But his parents point out that the balloons aren’t lost, they’ve become the boy’s- and he is still able to share the stories together with his grandpa, only now the boy is the one telling the stories.
This is a really sweet and touching way to approach this subject. I think it’s an important subject to cover and a lovely way to go about it. It helps explain losing memories in a way I think a kid can understand.
- Font Readability: 10/10
- Kid Engagement: 9/10
- Mommy Engagement: 9/10