Where Do Balloons Go?: An Uplifting Mystery

( 16 )


Jamie Lee Curtis's gentle and humorous exploration of the joys and perils of a balloon's life is whimsically brought to life by Laura Cornell's illustrations. From the best-selling author-illustrator team of Today I Feel Silly and Other Moods that Make My Day comes a delightful story about letting go.

When one little boy accidentally lets go...

See more details below
BN.com price
(Save 20%)$16.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (160) from $1.99   
  • New (11) from $6.95   
  • Used (149) from $1.99   
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.
Sending request ...


Jamie Lee Curtis's gentle and humorous exploration of the joys and perils of a balloon's life is whimsically brought to life by Laura Cornell's illustrations. From the best-selling author-illustrator team of Today I Feel Silly and Other Moods that Make My Day comes a delightful story about letting go.

When one little boy accidentally lets go of his balloon, his imagination takes him on a journey...

Where do balloons go when you let them go free?
It can happen by accident.
It happened to me.

A child wonders about what happens to a balloon that is let go, as a parent would wonder about what might happen to a child once he leaves home.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
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
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060279806
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/29/2000
  • Pages: 36
  • Sales rank: 171,240
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD230L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 8.75 (h) x 0.36 (d)

Meet the Author

Jamie Lee Curtis

Jamie Lee Curtis has had many firsts: her first (and only) marriage to Christopher Guest, her first time holding her children, Annie and Tom, her first time pretending to be a customer in an episode of Quincy, and her first time she wrote words that became her first book. She lives in Los Angeles, the first city she ever lived in, and is always first in line, first to arrive, first to leave, and first to sleep.

Laura Cornell lives in New York City with her daughter, Lily (first and only), but they spend much time in California, Laura's first state in her first home. She was asked to illustrate Jamie's first book, and that became ten. Lucky is the first word that comes to mind.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 16 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 18, 2011

    My Grandchildren Love It!

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 21, 2009

    Super Fun!

    I love this book, and I love reading it to my son or my niece. Cute

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2009

    Great book for any child who loves balloons

    My grandson loves balloons and he loved hearing about the possible places they go to! The illustrations are equally great as the story!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2009

    Too old for 2 yr old

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2007

    Interesting, even for a daddy

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2005


    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!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2004

    You'll Want to Float Away With These Balloons!,

    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. .

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2003

    an uplifting feeling

    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

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2002

    This one keeps you guessing!

    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!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2001

    Fun, Open-Ended, Imaginative Speculations!

    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

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2001


    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2000


    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!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2000

    A wonderful celebration!

    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!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)