cover image It’s Tough to Lose Your Balloon

It’s Tough to Lose Your Balloon

Jarrett J. Krosoczka. Knopf, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-385-75479-8

Krosoczka (Peanut Butter and Jellyfish) doesn’t actually tell readers to make lemons out of lemonade, but he does suggest that “when life gives you rain... look for the rainbow.” So you accidentally let go of your prized balloon? Think about it bringing a smile to the face of an airplane passenger—like Grandma. Sure, a scraped knee hurts, but “you’ll get a cool bandage. (It might even glow in the dark!).” These are the kinds of keep-your-chin-up life lessons that could be annoying, but Krosoczka diffuses any cynical impulses with his guileless, upbeat line drawings, which prove that looking on the bright side has its rewards. In the b&w “before” scenes, the hapless or put-upon children are rendered in full color, as if to isolate them in a cruel, uncaring universe. But in the vivid “after” images, all is right with the world, and his characters are downright jubilant, whether they’re cavorting with sandwich-thieving seagulls or soaring toward readers in a gravity-defying swing, bare feet triumphantly freed from soggy shoes. Ages 3–7. Agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Sept.)