The Day Ray Got Away
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The Day Ray Got Away

3.14 of 5 stars 3.14  ·  rating details  ·  56 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Ray is a parade balloon who longs to float far above the crowd, no strings attached. It’s his dream to fly on his own, though circumstances always seem to tie him down. But Ray is determined to achieve his goal, and with persistence and determination he manages to break free and soar through the skies. Readers will cheer for Ray’s triumph and delight in...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 7th 2010 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published 2010)
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As ever, I review kids' books only when there's something really right (or really wrong) with them. This one falls into the former category. It's not that the writing or illustrations are fantastic or even magical, though they're not bad. It's the whole idea behind the story that got me. If you're like me (and if you have kids under 7, you probably are), you read 2 or more children's books every night. Some are good, most are so-so, and some are downright intolerable (sometimes even for the kids...more
Sue Poduska
Who is Ray? Do we really need to know? All we need to know is that this is the day he gets away. A well-behaved balloon, who lives in a balloon warehouse with a Big Fat Cartoon Cat, Superheroes, a Moose, and a new kid, Ray plans his escape for years, so his friends call him a dreamer. But the ropes break and the handlers can’t keep Ray from getting away. The illustrator paints a lively picture of Ray’s life, the other balloons, the city in which the parade takes place, and the great escape. This...more
Angela Johnson's FIRST PART LAST is one of the best YA books that I read during library school (LIS 722). A slight squeal filled the room when I realized THE DAY RAY GOT AWAY was written by the same Angela Johnson who wrote FIRST PART LAST and HEAVEN.

Now, how do I feel about THE DAY RAY GOT AWAY?

1. Do I like the writing? Yes.
2. Do I like the illustrations? Yes.
3. Do I like the story? No.
Nancy Jo Lambert
Well, this one was tricky. I liked the idea of the story, I love the illustrations, but the execution of the story was not well done. Angela Johnson (of YA lit) shoudl stick to that. I think the author was trying to have the reader inference too much, and the story just falls flat.

However, I will say that my 2 year old daughter loved it and was obsessed with seeing Ray!
A parade balloon named Ray (a sun) who is always smiling plans an escape. This book was just okay for me and my audience. It lacked laughaloud humor that could've been incorporated into such a silly event as a parade balloon escaping!
It was awkward to read aloud, and a lot of the vocabulary was unusual for a kid's book. (e.g. handlers, hysterics, uprising, intentionally.)
But the pictures were bright and interesting.
I read this to my sons, and none of us really got it. Why did he want to get away? Where does he go? What's a balloon this big doing in a parade? (they have limited parade experience)
Emma (Miss Print)
Everyone, particularly New Yorkers I think, loves parade balloons. The writing was great but the art style was not my favorite look. Could definitely be a fun read aloud title though.
This book reminded me of an older version of Balloonia. It's about Ray, a balloon, who decides that today is the day he will run away.
Nonfiction Twin Text: Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet

Please see the twin text for connections and extensions.
Ali Werner
A balloon names ray who has been good for years decides that today is the day he will make his big escape into the world.
Hysterical story about a parade balloon and how it caused havoc by getting away. Comic-strip like illustrations.
Edward Sullivan
Okay, but Angela Johnson is way, way better at writing novels.
At the Buckeye Book Fair 2011.
Subversive parade balloon antics.
Angie added it
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