Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Dealing with Loss and Grief-A Review of My Yellow Balloon by Tiffany Papageorge

by Tiffany Papageorge
Illustrated by Erwin Madrid
Published 2014 by Minoan Moon Publishing
Picture Book-Fiction
32 Pages
Review copy provided by the publisher

Summary From Goodreads
It all started at the carnival. That is where Joey makes a new friend: a bright yellow balloon. Joey and his beloved balloon do everything together, until the balloon accidentally slips off Joeys wrist and flies far, far away. What will Joey do without his special friend? Tiffany Papageorge has crafted a poignant tale of love, loss, and letting go that will serve as a comforting guide to children who are navigating the complicated emotions of grief. Rich, luminous illustrations by Erwin Madrid perfectly capture these timeless themes, making them accessible to even the youngest reader. Honest, unflinching, and ultimately reassuring, this book will resonate with anyone who has endured the darkness of grief, while offering hope for brighter days ahead.

My Thoughts
Joey experiences deep and genuine grief upon the loss of his beloved balloon. My heart went out to him as he grappled with all of his new emotions including sadness, anger and confusion. I love how this book is about grief and loss, but not obviously about death. It does not gloss over the topic, but shows the real emotions people feel as they deal with grief. In the end, Joey comes to a point where he can think about his balloon with fondness. I thought this was a realistic ending without being unrealistically cheerful.  
The illustrator effectively uses color to show happier times and black and white during times of grief. Muted colors represent the period where Joey begins to feel sad less often. 

Books can help children deal with many difficult situations by seeing a character go through a similar experience. I feel that this book would benefit any child who is faced with a loss such as the death of a pet or loved one.

Little Parachutes website shares other picture books about bereavement. 
Visit Teach with Picture Books for even more ideas. 

I feel like I need to share the book love by passing on my beautiful copy to a reader who will be able to use it more frequently with children. Please enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter below. 
(I will ship this book within the continental US at my expense to the winner selected by Rafflecopter) 
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank you for sharing your Book Love with others.

  2. One of my students suffered the loss of her mother this fall. I struggle with finding books that are appropriate for her, a 4th grade, without being too direct and obvious. This one may be right for her. Thanks.

  3. I've read about this one on several blogs now--must get a copy as I know my students in Children's Lit are going to want to know about it.

  4. What a book! We lost two students to cancer last year at our school, and another one this year due to ongoing health problems. I had added to our collection to deal with times like these, but wish I had had this one. I'll get it for sure.