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Where Do Balloons Go?: An Uplifting Mystery

Where Do Balloons Go?: An Uplifting Mystery

4.5 16
by Jamie Lee Curtis, Laura Cornell (Illustrator)

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Haven't you ever wondered...where do balloons go? Jamie Lee Curtis, the critically-acclaimed and New York Times best-selling author of Today I Feel Silly and Other Moods That Make My Day, tackles one of childhood's biggest little mysteries in her newest book, Where Do Balloons Go?: An Uplifting Mystery. When one little boy accidently lets go of his


Haven't you ever wondered...where do balloons go? Jamie Lee Curtis, the critically-acclaimed and New York Times best-selling author of Today I Feel Silly and Other Moods That Make My Day, tackles one of childhood's biggest little mysteries in her newest book, Where Do Balloons Go?: An Uplifting Mystery. When one little boy accidently lets go of his balloon, his imagination takes him on its journey. Where Do Balloons Go? is a wistful and humorous glimpse at a child's growing sense of independence that guarantees that no one will ever look at a stray balloon the same way again.

Editorial Reviews

In a fun, spirited exploration of an age-old question and one little boy's imagination, author Jamie Lee Curtis and illustrator Laura Cornell take kids along for the ride as they follow the journey of a free-flying balloon in Where Do Balloons Go?: An Uplifting Mystery. This is the same author-illustrator team that brought young readers Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born and Today I Feel Silly & Other Moods That Make My Day, which spent nine weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Like its predecessors, Where Do Balloons Go? offers a feast of mental and visual stimulation as it examines the potential joys and perils inherent in a vividly imagined world populated with stray balloons.

With its snappy, rhyming prose and Cornell's colorfully splashy illustrations, Where Do Balloons Go? is both ear- and eye-catching. The open-ended question format should provide plenty of stimulation for active, young imaginations, and the pictures are chock-full of details. And lest that not be enough, there's also a page of vinyl stickers that can be used and reused on the slick, colorful endpapers -- one featuring a cloud-studded sky, the other showing a background of stars and comets in outer space. The book's appeal for young readers is obvious. Far subtler is the entertainment it also provides for adult readers in the slyly humorous details of Cornell's illustrations.

--Beth Amos

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This far-fetched tale by the creators of Today I Feel Silly and Other Moods That Make My Day may well raise youngsters' spirits as verse and art muse fancifully on the possible fates of wayward balloons. Cornell casts the balloons in human roles as the young narrator, a boy who has accidentally let go of his balloon's string, wonders, "Where do they go when they float far away? Do they ever catch cold and need somewhere to stay?" The zany accompanying cartoon pictures show a balloon sitting on the couch in a doctor's waiting room and another approaching a hotel, its string attached to a suitcase. In other scenarios, balloons dine in a restaurant, write postcards home and "cha-cha with birds" on the wing of an airplane, culminating in a four-page fold-out spread of "a big balloon dance." Bursting with color and balloons of all shapes, sizes and functions (many balloons making encore appearances bear clever messages or advertisements), Cornell's busy art provides ample diversion for young readers. Though not as memorable as some of the collaborators' earlier work, this volume, like the high-flying balloon that sets a boy's imagination soaring, is way out there--in a kid-pleasing way. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Children's Literature
All of us have watched a helium balloon sailing high up in the sky, leaving a sad somebody behind on the ground. Where do they go, really? Do they tango with airplanes? Or cha-cha with birds? Everyone will have fun with the fresh language and witty, colorful illustrations of this sophisticated picture book. Kids of all ages will pore over the details. There is a postcard a balloon might send another balloon ("Enjoying the hot air treatments, keeping full and shiny") and balloons sitting at the "Coffee and Helium House," reading. It is hilarious. The book design is also very clever. There are two pages that surprise the reader by opening-up to a big balloon dance. Best of all, there are re-usable stickers of balloons, sunglasses, funny hats—all things from the illustrations, and two glossy areas, one of a blue sky, and the other outer space, to play on. Who could be sad about losing a balloon after all that? With so much going for it, this book is sure to be very popular. 2000, HarperCollins/Joanna Cotler Books, $16.95. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer: Nancy Partridge
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-"Where do balloons go when you let them go free?" That's the question explored by this child narrator. All kinds of possibilities are considered: Do they catch cold? Get married? Correspond? And the dangers must be considered: wires, trees, tall buildings, balloon-twisting clowns, and balloon-chasing dogs, not to mention the perils of heat from the sun. And just how far do they go? While there are no definite answers to all this speculation, the fun is in the wondering ("Do they tango with airplanes? Or cha-cha with birds?") and in the whimsical cartoon art that raises the prospects to new heights. Combining small vignettes with double-page spreads and even a four-page foldout, Cornell uses lush watercolors and lots of lettering on unconventionally shaped balloons and vehicles to add plenty of visual humor. The illustrations are riotously colorful, textured, and jam packed with details that extend the basic idea. A lighthearted romp to pore over and enjoy.-Marie Orlando, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Clarissa Cruz
As th brightly colored orbs encounter everything from power lines to balloon-twisting clowns, the story evolves into a touching metaphor for parents learning to let their kids go, But it's the witty details in Cornell's illustrations that make this a multigenerational treat.
Entertainment Weekly

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
10.00(w) x 8.75(h) x 0.36(d)
AD230L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Jamie Lee Curtis is a critically-acclaimed and best-selling author. Her most recent book, Today I Feel Silly and Other Moods That Make My Day enjoyed an extraordinary nine weeks on the New York Times best-seller list. It has sold over 750,000 copies to date. Other best-selling titles include Tell Me Again About The Night I Was Born And When I Was Little: A Four-Year Old's Memoir Of Her Youth. All of Curtis' picture books have been illustrated by the acclaimed artist, Laura Cornell. Her fourth book, Where Do Balloons Go? An Uplifting Mystery will be published in September 2000.

Curtis has demonstrated her versatility as a film actress with starring roles in such acclaimed films as the blockbuster True Lies opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger, for which she earned a Golden Globe Award, and Trading Places with Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd for which she earned a British Film Academy award for Best Supporting Actress. Most recently Jamie starred in Halloween: H2O, which was the 20 year sequel to Halloween, --the now classic film which first brought her to the attention of audiences worldwide. Other memorable leading film role performances include A Fish Called Wanda, Fierce Creatures, Virus, Dominick And Eugene, Blue Steel, My Girl, My Girl II, Forever Young, Mother's Boys, House Arrest and Love Letters.

In television, Curtis co-starred opposite Richard Lewis in the acclaimed sitcom Anything But Love which earned her both a Golden Globe and People's Choice Award, as well as TNT's adaptation of the Wendy Wasserstein play The Heidi Chronicles which also earned her a Golden Globe nomination. More recently, Jamie starred in the CBS telefilm Nicholas' Gift for which she received an Emmy nomination.

Curtis began her Hollywood career in 1977 when she signed on as a contract player with Universal Studios. She was a regular on the television series Operation Petticoat when she was cast in Halloween. That role lead to subsequent roles in Prom Night, Terror Train and The Fog.

Jamie Lee Curtis is the mother of Annie and Thomas. She has been married for 16 years to actor/director Christopher Guest.

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Where Do Balloons Go? 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
vickibMS More than 1 year ago
My grandchildren Jack and John are 4 and 2 years old and love this book! It is one of their favorites and the one they pick for me to read to them at bedtime.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Docbones50 More than 1 year ago
I love this book, and I love reading it to my son or my niece. Cute
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My grandson loves balloons and he loved hearing about the possible places they go to! The illustrations are equally great as the story!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got this for my 2 yr old granddaughter. She loves books and it really doesn't matter what we're reading. I found the illustrations beautiful but I think she found them distracting, too much detail. I think she'll enjoy the story and pictures when she is a little older.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
My youngster and his friends liked when I read this book to them because they are always setting balloons free with attached notes hoping someone answers them. Even I enjoyed this book. Daddy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I got this book for my daughter when she was just about 2 years old. I got it originally from Kohls, from one of their specials. Well, my daughter absolutly loves the book. We read it all the time. She's even memorized the lines and reads along with you and points to the words. I think that this book really got her into reading because now she'd rather read than play...most of the time. Anyway, she started preschool this September, and she brought the book in for show and tell....the teacher read it to the class...and as the teacher read the book...so did my daughter. It was awesome. I am really looking forward to buying more of Jamie Lee's books. Thanks!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Celebrity authors of children¿s books frequently disappoint. This is not the case with this whimsical tale that ponders the plight of balloons that accidentally get loose or are simply set free. Curtis¿ fanciful imagination raises a number of amusing and delightful possibilities as she instills the wayward balloons with human characteristics and individual personalities. The humans that populate her tale seem fully cognizant and comfortable with this fact as they freely interact with the vigorous and lively balloons. Curtis suggests possible ¿solutions¿ to the loose balloon mystery in open questions to the audience -including queries about whether they ¿tango with airplanes¿ or ¿cha-cha with birds.¿ But she never ¿solves¿ the mystery, leaving it for her readers to ponder and decide for themselves. Cornell¿s boldly colored, action-packed, cartoon drawings of the balloons intermingling with humans are a perfect match for Curtis¿ verse. Without being overly distracting, Cornell¿s illustrations provide something on virtually page to discover and amuse each time the reader looks at a page, no matter how many times they have looked at it before. The net result is a true crowd pleaser. Highly recommended for ages 3 to 6. .
Guest More than 1 year ago
i recently purchsed this book and all i do is read it over and over , its a big help for me beeing i just lost my mother this christmas, i love this book
Guest More than 1 year ago
What imagination this book has! It keeps my 4 years old on her toes! We have read this one many times, and we can find new things in the pictures eveytime we read it. It brings out the kid in me too!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book clearly deserves more than five stars! Most good children's books have a primary story line that entertains the children, and brings home an important lesson. The outstanding children's books manage to combine more than one lesson. The great children's books appeal to adults as much as to children. The classic children's books take children and adults to places, thoughts, and lessons that they would never otherwise have considered. Where Do Balloons Go? has all of the elements of a classic children's book, with some novel improvements in combining text and illustrations to expand your imagination. Where Do Balloons Go? begins with this query: 'Where do balloons go when you let them go free? It can happen by accident. It's happened to me.' Now, if you are like me, you assume that the helium-filled balloons are carried high into the air until they either develop a hole and burst or explode from the expansion of the helium into the near-vacuum around the balloon. Not very exciting as alternative thoughts, are they? That dead-end in your mind, though, sets you up for the wonderful, mind-expanding speculations in this interesting book. 'Are they always alone? Do they ever meet up in pairs? Do they ever get married and make balloon heirs?' To fully appreciate this set of questions, you have to imagine the illustrations that complement the queries. Balloons are dining in a restaurant, having a romantic time. Using that illustrative vision to launch into the idea of balloon 'heirs' (pun obviously intended for 'airs') is hilarious. I just loved it. The illustrations are done in vibrant colors, emphasizing lots of purples, that create a play with the text and vice versa as the above example shows to greatly expand the meaning of the book. For a further example, the text says that balloons are ' . . . always concerned that they'll POP -- maybe caught up in wires pushed by the breeze . . . or tangled in trees . . . . ' The corresponding illustration emphasizes professional human balloon detanglers with advertisements and all kinds of specialized gear untangling balloons from trees. The illustrations have a Richard Scarry-type appearance combined with a New Yorker-style sophistication that effortlessly engage these illustrations to nicely bridge the gap between children and adults, without excluding either side of the audience. In this sequence, you have an additional reversal in that people are serving the balloons, rather than our usual conception of the object serving the person. Without this illustration for the text, that final visual play on the verbal concept would not have been possible. A standard technique for children's books is just to anthromorphize the objects. This book goes well beyond that. First, different types of anthromophization are employed (as objects with senses 'twisted by clowns' as well as self-animate objects 'Do they tango with airplanes?'). The balloons are also made into creatures with animal-like qualities ('Or cha-cha with birds?') and spiritual beings (with a relationship to the stars). You will have to read th
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a new mom with little time to get things done, I grabbed this book from the store because my son said, 'Baoooo' when he saw the cover. I didn't realize when I bought this book how much time we would spend with it. It's in all of our holiday photos and then some. It's got the best unrippable stickers that my 15 month son adores as they don't start him shrieking as other sticky stickers cause him to do. Cornell's illustrations are a wonder and keep even me interested after reading it about 5 billion times. Thanks Curtis and Cornell.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a beautifully 'uplifting' book. The end of the book stole a few tears from my eye. I always enjoy reading Jamie's creations as she really has the view from a child's eye. I had to go back several times to study the colorful and witty illustrations-there's so much to see! Keep 'em coming!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Unsurpassed! This book is inspirational on so many levels. It appeals to the sensibilities of a child-- letting your imagination soar limitless. But it also speaks to the adult, the parent-- in how we must learn to accept life and let go sometimes. Like Seuss's ALL THE PLACES YOU'LL GO! this book is sure to stand the test of time. And while Curtis is still developing as a writer (The 'MASS-A-CHU-SETTS' ryme is pretty forced!) Cornell has reached new heights in style and creativity. She certainly deserves the lion's share of praise!