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The Purple Balloon

by Chris Raschka

Published by Schwartz & Wade, 2007
24 pages
ISBN: 0375841466

Age 5 and older

A picture book conceived for terminally ill children, their families, and friends offers gentle and affirming acknowledgment of difficult feelings while recognizing the importance of relationships in the life of a child who is dying. Time with a child “listening or talking, sitting or holding, being noisy or being quiet. . . makes dying less hard” and “living easier.” Author/artist Chris Raschka’s spare narrative is gracefully illustrated in prints colored with watercolors. His images depict balloons rather than people, personified with faces that convey a range of emotions. A note from the founding director of Children’s Hospice International notes that the balloon imagery was inspired by the pictures created by terminally ill children across many cultures, who often draw a blue or purple balloon floating free as a way to depict their feelings about dying. An endnote offers simple advice for children who have a terminally ill friend.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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