The Books

The Purple Balloon

by Chris Raschka

One Potato Review

If children become obsessed with death because they read a book about it before they’re ready, then they’ve probably got a lot more obsessions to tick off before they’re finished, and a lot more books to try and avoid. Death happens – next door, and in our families, and on the other side of the world – though not so much in children’s books, unless the proceeds of the book are meant to benefit a particular charity (as they do here), because who’s going to argue with a good cause? Here’s a good cause: stop dancing around the subject. This isn’t perhaps the most eloquent treatment of illness and death, but Raschka’s illustrations are typically, brilliantly simple (a two-year-old can find something to cherish in a balloon, dying or not) and this is as good a place as any to start coloring in the blanks.