- Age Range: 4 - 7 years
- Grade Level: Preschool - 2
- Lexile Measure: 550L (What's this?)
- Hardcover: 32 pages
- Publisher: Boyds Mills Press; 1 edition (September 1, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1590782631
- ISBN-13: 978-1590782637
- Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8.8 x 10.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#304,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #284 in Books > Children's Books > Literature & Fiction > Historical Fiction > Military & Wars
- #1038 in Books > Children's Books > Growing Up & Facts of Life > Family Life > Parents
- #1964 in Books > Children's Books > Growing Up & Facts of Life > Friendship, Social Skills & School Life > Emotions & Feelings
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My Red Balloon Hardcover – September 1, 2005
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From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 4–Today's the day a little boy's Navy Dad comes home after being at sea. As an excited crowd waits for the ship, he holds a Welcome Home red balloon tied tightly around his wrist so that his father can find him on the dock. He loosens the string and sadly watches the balloon float away. Of course, his daddy still finds him and all is well. Gently told, this story shows the joy felt when loved ones come home after serving our country. Realistic details such as the sailors standing on the deck in their dress whites and members of the crowd snapping pictures add authenticity. Similar in tone and theme to Mindy Pelton's When Dad's at Sea (Whitman, 2004) and Sarah Wones Tomp's Red, White, and Blue Good-bye (Walker, 2005), this book's soft, watercolor illustrations reflect the diversity of the Navy's personnel. This is another sensitive, caring title for service families and those who work with them.–Pamela K. Bomboy, Chesterfield County Public Schools, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
PreS. A young, blonde preschooler, Bobby, cannot wait for a huge aircraft carrier to dock; Daddy's ship is coming home after many months at sea. Tension builds as Bobby and his mom leave home and join other families on the quay, watching for the ship, and then, finally, rejoicing as the sailors disembark. To make sure Daddy will recognize him, Bobby carries a big, heart-shaped "Welcome home" balloon. "Daddy won't know me, Bobby cries, after losing the balloon, but Daddy knows his son and lifts him in a smiling embrace. True to the small child's viewpoint, there is no talk of war or patriotism, right or wrong, only that Daddy was "making sure our country stays safe." The clear, idyllic watercolors show the poignant homecoming and one loving family's pride, yearning, and heartfelt reunion. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top Customer Reviews
This is my final Veteran's Day post, and I've saved the best for last. I love books that reveal the secret fears of children and help them get resolved in the safe context of a story. The beginning of this story makes it clear that this is not the first time the boy's father has gone away and come back, but it is the first time that he has been afraid that his father won't know him. Fear and anxiety is always new, and this story does a good job of discussing it without making you feel like you're in a therapy session. The story feels like it's about the descriptions, the cereal for breakfast, the gigantic ship that brings the sailors, the girl who tries to hold his balloon string and, of course, the red balloon that is shaped like a heart. But when the balloon slips away and the boy has to face his true fear, we all realize what the story has been about the whole time. The boy needs to understand that although the balloon pointed his father in the right direction, he didn't need it to know them at all.
My daughters all enjoyed this story. They were so delighted with the pictures and descriptions of balloons and banners and bands and flowers that the real message of the story kind of sneaked up on them at the end, which is exactly the point. We all learn best when we don't realize we're being taught something. My four year old was the biggest surprise. I did not expect her to like this one, but she just loved the big boat. She always came back to it, enchanted by the idea of a boat as big as a building, so big that the top of it didn't even show in the picture once it was docked at the pier. As I mentioned in my Veteran's Day post, my husband never deployed, but this book is about the heart, the feeling of a homecoming, and that is something that all kids can relate to. And I feel that the more that kids are exposed to the experiences that other kids go through, the better it will be for them. This is one of the reasons I love picture books so much- they are the one hundred percent best way to expose children to the "other." In a picture book, what would be different, confusing, and scary suddenly becomes engaging, accessible and relatable.