Author: Lee Haydn Straight

Publisher: KiteReaders
ASIN: B00B1WRETG

The Little Pink Balloon is a charming picture book created by Lee Haydn Straight. The story targets children between the ages of three to eight, but I believe people of all ages would enjoy it, not least the adults who may choose to read it aloud to their children. There’s a lyrical quality to this book that comes through to the listener or reader via the repetition of certain key lines.The layout of the book is crisp and beautiful, for the illustrations and different fonts mirror the excellence of the text.

The Little Pink Balloon is just eighteen pages in length, but it takes the reader on a journey that is at once simple and profound. Who would not identify with the plight of the little pink balloon who becomes cut off from her family and the earth itself? After Little Pink floats up through the sky and gets stuck in a cloud, she pines to return to her family and the beloved fairground far below. As the story unfolds, we see various winged creatures coming to her aid; each one offers their assistance. Indeed, the book focuses on the importance of asking for help, being willing to help, and working as a team. This sets an ideal for children, namely, that it is sometimes imperative to ask for help when you feel alone and need support. The ladybug, butterfly, and bird who visit Little Pink way up in the sky are candid about their respective limitations, but each one expresses a complete sense of oneness with the forlorn balloon. “I’m very sorry”, said the ladybug. “I am just not strong enough. I wish I could have helped. But if you don’t mind, I’d like to stay with you and rest on your string?”

Lee Haydn Straight’s book, while completely original, reminded me in some way of the lovely story Le Ballon Rouge, or The Red Balloon, by Albert Lamorisse, which came out several decades ago and became a classic for children. The Red Balloon was the tale of a boy and his best friend—a red balloon that followed him everywhere. I remember reading it as a child and being fascinated by this red balloon that seemed so much more than an inanimate object. I compare the two tales because they clearly reflect the charming vision that children love and possess—the magical, imaginative world wherein inanimate objects are not merely seen as things, rather, they are perceived as fully conscious and alive. I hope that Lee Haydn Straight’s book one day becomes a classic. It’s wonderful.


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