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The Red Balloon Hardcover – July 15, 1967


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday Books for Young Readers (July 15, 1967)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385003439
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385003438
  • Product Dimensions: 12.2 x 8.5 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #135,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

" 'This is children's theatre at its best... Anthony Clark's adapation is both delightful and moving' Sunday Times 'Clark's adaptations have become justly regarded as unmissable seasonable entertainment... A wondrous children's musical guaranteed to crack the hardest of adult hearts... No neat moral yarn, but a humorous and haunting fable' Independent 'A skilful and enchanting stage version of a 1950s classic' The Times" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

A magical book that has become an enduring children's classic, The Red Balloon is the story of a young boy and his best friend--a bright red balloon. Chock-full of photographs of the boy, the balloon and the captivating city of Paris.

A New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book of the Year.


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Customer Reviews

A gem and a classic!
D.E. Bailey
As an adult, I just introduced the book and the film to my 2 year old daughter, and once again this classic story has brought me delight.
Compusurge
Either way, it's a great book, and a beautiful (if a little odd) story, full of wonderful photos of Paris in the 1950s.
Anna M. Ligtenberg

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 42 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 13, 1999
Format: Hardcover
As a very young boy, I remember asking my mother to read The Red Balloon to me a hundred times or more; something must have truly spoken to me in the story of this child with the ever-faithful balloon friend. On par with Saint-Exuperie (author of "Le Petit Prince"), the metaphors in this 'children's book' run a gamut of complex emotions -- from learning love for friends, to feeling different and expelled, a sense of loss,... but then ultimately reclaimed, finding joy in one's own self. There's sadness, but also understanding, as the balloon's 'life' goes. The lessons here are obvious ones, and I am glad they were imparted on me at an early age. I highly recommend this title to kids 3 to 8 -- particularly if they seem introverted or shy. They might not always be so, once they learn to let go! FYI, you may find copies of The Red Balloon currently (12/12/99) at your local Resoration Hardware; thanks guys! Oh, and don't forget to read to a child! :-)
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 26, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This is a story I first fell in love with when I first saw the film as a child over forty years ago. It seems to grow even more special to me as the years pass. Both the book and the film capture the unique imagination and loneliness of childhood. The story paints a child's-eye view of Paris that few, if any, Americans have experienced. The photo illustrations are absolutely gorgeous. I gave this as a gift to my niece this year and I know that she will treasure this as I have for many years.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Compusurge on June 28, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I was a little boy, this story brought me incredible delight over and over again. When I saw this film as a young man in my 20's, it brought me delight again, letting me relive my childhood all over. As an adult, I just introduced the book and the film to my 2 year old daughter, and once again this classic story has brought me delight. My daughter, who is usually only interested in Elmo and Barney, stood riveted through both the pages of the book and the scenes of the film, as Pascal and his balloon let her imagination soar. I cannot recommend this story more than to say 'no child should grow up without it'.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Anna M. Ligtenberg VINE VOICE on June 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
ISBN 0385142978 - I owned a copy of this book for many years before I ever read it. I'm not sure why, beside that my son just wasn't very interested in it, other than to periodically peek at the photos. It's a wonderful story!

Pascal is lonely. He has brought home strays in the past, but his mother doesn't want them bringing dirt into her house, so they have been put right back out. When he comes across a red balloon, he has no idea that it is magic - and soon to become his best friend! When his mother throws it out the window, it doesn't go anywhere. It hovers there until Pascal brings it back inside. Through the story, it follows him everywhere, even flying over the bus on the way to school. When a gang of boys become determined to take it from him, there's little he can do about it. And when they pop the balloon, he's devastated... then he sees an astonishing sight! Every captive balloon in Paris revolts. The balloons twine their strings together and lift him up and away.

There is a review that refers to that as "taking him to heaven", but the book says he took "a wonderful trip all around the world". That difference might be the difference between the original story and the adaptation for the film, or might be the film viewer's interpretation of the story. Either way, it's a great book, and a beautiful (if a little odd) story, full of wonderful photos of Paris in the 1950s. A little something for everyone!

- AnnaLovesBooks
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By D.E. Bailey on September 29, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book was a childhood favorite of mine in the mid 1960s--introduced to me by my mother, a teacher of French language. It's a bittersweet tale --but ultimately it's an affirming book. I loved it so much as a child that I have always remembered it--and now plan to introduce it to my children. The photographs are beautiful and charming. My love of this book probably explains why I always feel happy when I see a big red balloon. A gem and a classic!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mr. David Rayner on May 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
For anyone, who, like myself, went to see The Red Balloon at the cinema as a child in 1957, this beautifully designed and superbly produced book is a perfect souvenir of this multi-award winning Technicolor short film that remains as totally enchanting today as it was fifty years ago, when I was entranced by it as a ten year old boy.

When a film is in production, very many still photographs are taken during the shoot for use as publicity material later on. This book contains no less than 39 black and white location stills and seven in full colour, or nine if you count the front and back covers, making a total of 48 photographs as beautifully crisp and clear today as they were when they were first taken, a lifetime ago, way back in 1956. Accompanying the photographs is the storyline of the film, told page by page and still by still and this is beautifully written.

The Red Balloon, directed by Albert Lamorisse, running only 35 minutes, without dialogue and telling its story though pictures, sound and music, tells the fable of a lonely little six year old Parisian boy, Pascal (played by the director's young son, Pascal Lamorisse), who befriends an equally lonely helium filled red balloon with a life of its own, which becomes his constant companion, following him everywhere, waiting outside school for him and even outside his bedroom. The two become devoted to one another and share many adventures together. For Pascal, the red balloon becomes the friend that he's always yearned for.

At the end, a group of school bullies, jealous of the happiness that Pascal and the balloon have found together, waylay the little boy and throw stones and fire catapults at the balloon, puncturing it.
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