Books on Monday: MY YELLOW BALLOON

By Leslie Lindsay

What a darling book! Set in the 1930s with the most beautiful illustrations by Erwin Madrid to accompany, MY YELLOW BALLOON is a children’s book destined to become a classic to help children deal with and process grief.My Yellow Balloon

No where in the book does anyone die, which I especially appreciated–knowing full well that the book can be adapted to include the loss of a lovey (blanket, toy), to a pet, and family member or friend, MY YELLOW BALLOON talks about loss in an honest, engaging, and reassuring manner.

Six-year old Joey is at the fair with his parents when he plucks a yellow balloon from a fair worker, he and balloon become close–friends, even. They do everything together until one day, Joey looks up and sees his precious yellow balloon floating up, up, up into the forever blue sky. The illustrator does a beautiful job of showing–with color, or the lack thereof–Joey’s feelings and emotions.

MY YELLOW BALLOON is the perfect book for just about anyone dealing with grief on any level. This week, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 20th just happens to be Grief Awarenss Day for Children. Why not make this book part of your family time? While you may not be dealing directly with death, this is a fantastic opportunity to discuss–and prepare–for complicated emotions that are sure to plaque anyone in the face of loss.

Other ideas:

  • Talk with a child about a tragedy, big and small
  • A discussion tool for *any* classroom, especially in the wake of tragedy
  • An art lesson. Look at the use of color, shadows, faces, clothing, period details from the 1930s
  • Soothe and distract kids when life gets tough

For more information: My Yellow Balloon Website 

Tiffany PapageorgeTiffany Papageorge has always had a profound love for stories. She earned her MFA in Acting from the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. Through her extensive theater background, which spans a 25-year period and includes work with CBS and Disney, she learned firsthand how stories deeply touch and affect the human spirit. As an author and public speaker she works with parents, teachers, and mental health professionals who want to find new ways to reach, capture, and engage children, including those who are dealing with the issue of loss. She also works with children directly through story to help them grow, heal, and flourish. She and her husband, Paul, live in Los Gatos, California, with their three children. My Yellow Balloon™ is Tiffany’s first children’s book.

About the Illustrator: Erwin Madrid grew up in San Jose, California. In May 2003, Erwin earned his BFA in Illustration from the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, CA. During his last semester of college, Erwin was hired by PDI/DreamWorks Animation where

he contributed production illustrations for the animated feature film, Shrek 2. He later became a visual development artist for the ongoing Shrek franchise, the Madagascar sequel and Megamind. Erwin has also done conceptual art for the video game industry for titles like Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. His has designed cover art for children’s books for publishers that include Harper Collins, Random House and Simon and Schuster. In his spare time, Erwin travels and paints whenever he has a chance. He currently lives in the Bay Area, California.



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