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The Day Ray Got Away
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The Day Ray Got Away

3.09  ·  Rating details ·  70 Ratings  ·  21 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 the joyful parade s ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 7th 2010 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published 2010)
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Rating details
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Jan 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Viviane Elbee
Jun 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Fun illustrations and good writing style.

Ray the balloon wants to find his way to freedom so he plans his escape.

There were funny parts, like when the handler falls in the water.

But we aren't really sure why Ray wanted to leave nor what he was looking for, aside from getting away.
Sue Poduska
Jul 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 13, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
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.
Oct 13, 2014 rated it liked it
This book is OK, but, like Ray for so many years, this book plays it safe. Playing it safe might be good policy for parade balloons, but it is not such a good policy for children's picture books. This book could have been so much funnier, and, therefore, more memorable with a little bit more effort.
Nancy Jo Lambert
May 11, 2011 rated it liked it
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!
Niena Ramirez
Sep 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: el230
I chose the book "The Day Ray Got Away" by Angela Johnson because the illustrations were very interesting. The bright colors caught my eye and while reading the book I focused more on the images. This is a great children story about a balloon named Ray going through a parade for the last time. I recommend using this book in a 3rd grade classroom.
Katie Fitzgerald
Read during pre-k class visits on 11/14/12:

Read at preschool story time on 11/16/12:
Oct 04, 2010 rated it it was ok
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!
Oct 29, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: kid-lit, picture-book
Hysterical story about a parade balloon and how it caused havoc by getting away. Comic-strip like illustrations.
Edward Sullivan
Oct 25, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Okay, but Angela Johnson is way, way better at writing novels.
Dec 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Subversive parade balloon antics.
Jul 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Nonfiction Twin Text: Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet

Please see the twin text for connections and extensions.
Jul 08, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kids-books
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.
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.
Jul 16, 2010 rated it liked it
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.
Jun 16, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011, picture-books
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)
Mar 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Bouncy and fun. A great-read aloud.
Nov 05, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
At the Buckeye Book Fair 2011.
The Book Box
Jan 08, 2015 added it
Shelves: library
Daddy read this one to me and my big brother. I got fussy halfway through, so I need to try and read it again!
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.
rated it it was ok
Jan 04, 2015
rated it it was ok
Nov 23, 2010
rated it liked it
Jan 15, 2016
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Feb 11, 2011
rated it liked it
Apr 02, 2011
rated it liked it
Sep 21, 2010
teresa kietlinski
rated it it was amazing
Aug 04, 2011
rated it really liked it
Nov 06, 2013
rated it really liked it
Sep 22, 2016
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