Oh, what a delight!  The artwork is the story, although there are words–enough.

Emily gets and loses a balloon.  A second balloon is tied to her finger until she and her mother get home. The balloon is filled with helium so it ends up on the ceiling upon its release.  The mother then ties a spoon to the string.  Emily plays with her balloon all day until a strong wind whips it away and twists it around a branch of a tree.  It is now too high to retrieve, leaving Emily sad.  But her mother has a plan for tomorrow so Emily rests.

Ms. Sakai is an incredible artist and her books, including this, her first one in English, is so beautiful.  The pictures say so much.  There is one drawing viewed from the back of the couch.  Mother and Emily are doing something together that we cannot see.  Emily’s head is leaning on her mother and she is looking down.  It is from a priceless vantage point.  Each drawing is its own prize.  She works in acrylic, oil pencils, and charcoal.  The drawings are simple yet say it all.

Reading Level:  1 – 12 Years (actually…a book for all ages!)

ALA Notable Children’s Books 2007
Kirkus Reviews, Best Children’s Books of 2006, Best Early Chapter Books
Book Links, Best New Books for the Classroom
New York Public Library’s 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing 2006
Publishers Weekly, starred review
Booklist, starred review
Child magazine, Best Books of 2006
Horn Book Fanfare List, Best Books of 2006

Author and Illustrator:
Komako Sakai was born and lives in Japan. After graduating from Tokyo’s National University of Fine Arts and Music, Miss Sakai worked as a designer of kimonos as well as in other Japanese traditional textiles.  She then began writing and illustrating children’s books and is currently one of the most popular author-illustrators in Japan.  She also illustrates for other authors. http://www.booksfromjapan.jp/authors/item/1010-komako-sakai
I found an interview with some of her art there as well @ http://blaine.org/sevenimpossiblethings/?p=2402    (Please click on the picture at the top of the interview as the detail is incredible showing Komako’s grasp of her subjects.)

Book Information

  • ISBN-13: 9780811852197
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC
  • Publication date: 2/23/2006
  • Pages: 44
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 10.25 (h) x 0.50 (d)

1542687Original review was 2-16-2015


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