The Silver Balloon: Story and Pictures

Jeanne Lee, Author, Susan Bonners, Author Farrar Straus Giroux $14.95 (1p) ISBN 978-0-374-36911-8
Young Lotus was born deaf and unable to speak. Her days are filled with basket-weaving, swimming and walking among the wild birds, ``joining them in their graceful steps.'' Although she is good-natured and beautiful, the other children run from Lotus, leaving her lonely and heavy- hearted. Seeking solace from the gods , the girl and her parents travel to ``the temple in the city,'' where Lotus, imitating the temple dancers, exhibits the extraordinary talent that eventually wins her favor with the king and queen. Set in Cambodia, Lee's tender tale intertwines universal childhood concerns with intriguing elements of a rich and unfamiliar culture. The bold-hued paintings--of lush lotus blossoms, waterfowl and ornate costumes--display an Eastern serenity as they depict life in a distant land, though most of the human figures are less skillfully drawn. Young readers will be heartened as they watch Lotus transform into a successful woman despite her handicap. Ages 5-8. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1991
Release date: 09/01/1991
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