cover image My Friend, Loonie

My Friend, Loonie

Nina LaCour, illus. by Ashling Lindsay. Candlewick, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5362-1393-5

A big, bright yellow balloon represents beats of friendship and mourning in LaCour’s tender, well-paced tale. From the moment a girl’s parents, a queer- presenting couple, bring the balloon home, “Loonie” floats easily into her heart and daily routines: “She set a place for Loonie at the dinner table and made sure Loonie saw all the pages of their bedtime story.” The child loves the bobbing object, dancing with it and taking it on walks until Loonie breaks away, growing “smaller and smaller in the sky.” The girl’s parents invite her to channel her sadness into gardening, which soon bears colorful fruit that brings warm memories of Loonie flooding back, along with a new joy at seeing “yellow in places she’d never noticed before.” The pages capture the very real emotional weight that children can attach to inanimate objects in this gentle introduction to loss. The family is portrayed with light skin. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)