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Emily's Balloon

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  269 Ratings  ·  57 Reviews
One day, Emily gets a balloon. By the end of the afternoon, the balloon is no longer just a plaything. Emily and the balloon are friends. But when the balloon blows away, what will Emily do? The beautifully evocative illustrations and the timeless innocence of the story make this deceptively simple book a sure classicsweet, compelling, and filled with the wonder and ...more
Hardcover, 44 pages
Published February 23rd 2006 by Chronicle Books (first published April 30th 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Lisa Vegan
Oct 12, 2012 Lisa Vegan rated it really liked it
This is a sweet book with lovely illustrations, but I was neither as wowed by it or as depressed by it as I’d expected. I was afraid it would be too much like The Red Balloon. That book and especially the movie always depressed me. At my elementary school almost every time it rained and we could not go outside at lunchtime recess we would be herded into the auditorium and forced to watch the film The Red Balloon, and I hated it. This book’s story did not really depress me, except when I started ...more
Beautifully done. Very spare text and exquisite illustrations. Great use of minimal colour.
Sep 28, 2016 Natasha rated it liked it
Simple minimal word story of a girl and her adventures with a balloon for a day.
Feb 16, 2015 Linda rated it it was amazing
Oh, what a delight! The artwork is the story, although there are words--enough.

Emily gets and loses a balloon. A second balloon is tied to her finger until she and her mother get home. The balloon is filled with helium so it ends up on the ceiling upon its release. The mother then ties a spoon to the string. Emily plays with her balloon all day until a strong wind whips it away and twists it around a branch of a tree. It is now too high to retrieve, leaving Emily sad. But her mother has a plan f
Michelle (FabBookReviews)

Emily's Balloon, written and illustrated by Komako Sakai, is one of those gorgeous and quiet gems of a picture book I'm afraid might not get seen by enough people. A relatively simple story of a young girl and her yellow balloon is lifted by Sakai's unassuming and effortless text and feather-light illustrations. Sakai's illustrative style is unfettered and interestingly muted: perhaps it not may be to everyone's taste but I find that there is something inherently classic about it. The illustrati
Jun 26, 2013 Fats rated it liked it
I picked up Emily’s Balloon while I was browsing for books by Jon Scieszka. The cover speaks for itself. Emily’s Balloon is so adorable. It’s a very light and very sweet picture book about a little girl named Emily – aged 2 or 3, probably – and her yellow balloon.

With minimal text and soft textured pastel illustrations, Emily’s Balloon is perfect for the little ones. I especially love the parts where Emily would share her daily routine with her balloon. Emily and her balloon are lost in Emily’s
Apr 22, 2008 babyhippoface rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents of preschoolers
I'm impressed with the simple lately. This one definitely qualifies. Preschooler Emily's playmate for the day is a beautiful yellow balloon she got from a street vendor. They play Get the Balloon Down from the Ceiling a few times until Mama ties it around Emily's spoon, which causes it to float head-high. The two friends pick flowers and play house until the wind traps the yellow balloon in a tree. Uh-oh. Mama can't get it down, and Emily misses her balloon; they had so many plans! But Mama ...more
Crystal Allen
Feb 08, 2008 Crystal Allen rated it really liked it
Shelves: kidspicturebooks
A beautiful, very gentle picture book about a little girl and her balloon.

One afternoon Emily's mother buys her a balloon. When they get home after Emily "looses" the balloon around the house a few times Emily's mother ties a spoon to the string so the balloon hovers above the ground. Emily takes the balloon outside and they play the afternoon away. They pick flowers together, make crowns for both of them and play house. Then Emily's balloon is blown into a tree from a big gust of wind. Emily's
Sep 22, 2011 Vivian rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Winnie tries to disguise himself as a cloud by holding on to a balloon string and floating up to the beehive in a tree. This was the episode we read at the beginning of story time.

Here is another balloon story which offered an opportunity for dialogic reading. The spare text lends well to asking questions and doing actions that correspond with the illustrations. Ask “what do you think will happen next?” before turning the page as tension rises. The children love this story. They can all relate
Alexandra Inmon
Apr 29, 2016 Alexandra Inmon rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 03, 2010 Karre rated it it was amazing
I love LOVE this author's illustrations and this book is another wonderful book for sharing (especially in a therapy context) with kids. the text is simple (and sometimes a little strange?) which makes it easy to convey the emotional tone through affect as well as easy to pause and act out the story using actions and gestures. Mostly i just love the sweet story that i think every toddler could relate to on one level or another.
Brendan Howard
Apr 16, 2014 Brendan Howard rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-to-zahara
A surprisingly moving story of a child who invests an inanimate object with purpose and personality, then is particularly hurt when she loses it. A parent assures her they can get it back. She is mostly reassured, and seeing its presence again, even if she can't reach it, calms her. Kind of fascinating,
Mar 31, 2008 Emily rated it it was amazing
I think I am dealing with my birthday is coming-what are you doing with your life-30 is looming-crisis-by looking at/reading lots of children's books. It's my way of stopping time and remembering the wonderful innocence of childhood. This book is a gem. The illustrations are just too sweet. Plus, the little girl is named Emily, could it get any better?
Feb 18, 2009 Janet rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I love Sakai's illustrative style and simple yet profound storylines. Contemplative and sweet, I think this book is an accurate portrayal of a child's budding understanding about the nature of control in life. Sometimes things don't go the way you desire, but that's no reason to give up or despair.
Sweet without being cloying, sad without making you cry. The little girl gets very attached to her balloon and spends the night worrying that disaster might strike when the balloon gets stuck outside.
But the story ends before morning comes, so now I'm going to be worrying about the stupid balloon all day!
Nov 10, 2014 Susan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
That was freaking adorable! And playing house with the balloon! Too cute!

Last weekend Lola got a balloon, we tied a spoon to it, and it was SO CUTE! She brushed her teeth with it, and went to bed with it - she had it tucked in her little hand asleep. We read this book at least three times that night.
Sep 10, 2012 Crystal rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Parents of toddlers
Shelves: children-s
This is a simply illustrated book that captures the essence of feeling in toddlers with their special things in life - such as a balloon. Beautiful book that my children have cried with and still request.
Oct 24, 2013 UISG LIBRARY rated it it was amazing
Our EC students really grabbed hold of this story once the balloon becomes a "friend" of Emily's. The illustrations are magnificent and students enjoyed watching the yellow balloon float from one place to the next.
Jan 04, 2016 Emily rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
We all love this book. A very simple sweet story of a girl and a balloon. There are so few words, my two year old had it memorized after two readings and then would read it to me instead. The shades of grey plus yellow illustrations are gorgeous.
Monalisa Johnson-brown
It is about Emily who got a ballon and tied it to her finger and went home with it. She took the ballon of when she got home and tied it to her little finger. She took the balloon outside and played with it until it got stuck in the tree. Her mother got it out and gave back to her.
Feb 21, 2009 Natalie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: super-cute
The part where Emily wishes she could eat with her balloon was just too much. Pass the hello kitty kleenex?
Nov 27, 2010 Relyn rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: sentimental adults
I love this artist's work. It's always a little off, a little odd. Not sure how kids would like it. It strikes me as a children's book written really for adults. You know?
Apr 03, 2008 Ashley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: toddler-books
Hands down, Georgie's favorite book. She thumbs through it several times a day and it actually makes her excited for bedtime! The pictures are very simple yet speak volumes.
Jul 11, 2015 Janet added it
Sweet, simple, and heartfelt, this story depicts the very real attachment and love young kids can develop for inanimate objects. I want to give Emily a big hug--she's so dang cute.
Oct 08, 2009 Cassandra rated it really liked it
Recommended to Cassandra by: Amanda Cooper
Emily cherishes her balloon and keeps it with her throughout the day until the wind blows it into the tree. It is a simple, cute book that my children enjoyed.
Jan 24, 2014 Brandi rated it really liked it
In this sweet picture book with lovely illustrations, a little girl's best friend is a round, floating, yellow balloon.
Sep 13, 2012 Peacegal rated it it was amazing
Unusual, quiet, simple, and wonderfully illustrated, this book is a true work of art. Children will instantly relate and adults will recollect old memories.
Apr 19, 2010 Rosanne rated it it was amazing
Loved reading this with my little ones-very unique. It kind of reminded me of something Wes Anderson might write if he was into preschoolers.
Feb 15, 2011 jo rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
A very quiet, almost delicate book about a girl's relationship with her yellow balloon. How Sakai was able to accomplish so much true-to-life depth of feeling with such simple strokes is beyond me.
Stacey Starley
Apr 29, 2009 Stacey Starley rated it it was amazing
Darling story that I need to add to my collection. Little Emily gets a balloon and has adventures until something happens. How she eventually is comforted and able to fall asleep.
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