cover image Goodbye, Balloon

Goodbye, Balloon

Adam Ciccio, illus. by Margriet van der Berg. Clavis, $18.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-60537-771-1

A youth processes loss around the disappearance of a beloved balloon via Ciccio’s meditative first entry in the Healthy Minds series. When a sudden gust of wind yanks a large, buoyant balloon from the pale-skinned child’s bike, the young narrator wishes it well (“Goodbye, Balloon! I hope you have a fantastic adventure!”), then closes their eyes and imagines the high-soaring adventures the two might have shared. In mind’s eye, they drift through a variety of landscapes and a cloud of vibrant migrating flamingoes. At daydream’s end, the protagonist, now ready to accept the balloon’s departure, pictures it tied to the trike of another child, shown with brown skin. Van der Berg’s watercolors, rendered in a cotton-candy hues, set a dreamy, ethereal backdrop befitting flights of fancy and emotional exploration. A supplementary note discusses how children deal with loss. Ages 5–9. (Mar.)