Sunday, December 22, 2019

The Remember Balloons

The Remember Balloons
by Jessie Oliveros
illustrated by Dana Wulfekotte
Recommended Ages: 4+

This children's picture book was a selection for my local public library's "Leaders are Readers" program. I read it as an exercise in cross-generational communication about one of my favorite subjects (books), and ended up being emotionally touched.

This story uses balloons as an analogy for memories, in hope of helping little ones understand what's happening when grandma or grandpa starts to show signs of dementia. With warmth and courage, it faces an issue that may cause confusion, sadness and anger for children while their loved ones become confused and forgetful. In a final touch that still gets me choked up, it suggests a use for the shared life experiences that younger family members still have in their grasp.

Jessie Oliveros is a former nurse who (according to Goodreads) lives in Texas with her husband and four kids. This seems to be her first book. Illustrator Dana Wulfekotte seems to have contributed art to at least eight children's books, including three "Cilla-Lee Jenkins" books by Susan Tan, as well as her own book, Rabbit & Possum.

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