The Purple Balloon by Chris Raschka

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 4 Critic Reviews



When a child becomes aware of his pending death (children tend to know long before the rest of us even want to consider it), and is given the opportunity to draw his feelings, he will often draw a blue or purple balloon, released and unencumbered, on its way upward. Health-care professionals have discovered that this is true, regardless of a child's cultural or religious background and researchers believe that this is symbolic of the child's innate knowledge that a part of them will live forever. . . .


In disarmingly simple and direct language, accompanied by evocative potato print illustrations, Raschka in conjunction with Children's Hospice International (CHI), creates a moving, sensitive book that is also a phenomenally useful tool to talk about death. The message of the book is clear: talking about dying is hard, dying is harder, but there are many people in your life who can help.


Children's Hospice International (CHI), a nonprofit organization founded in 1983, is paving the way for the establishment of children's hospice and related services worldwide.


About Chris Raschka

See more books from this Author
CHRIS RASCHKA, the 2012 Caldecott Medalist, is an avid bike rider and wrote a 2010 New York Times op-ed piece, "Braking Away," about the importance of obeying the rules of the road while on a bicycle. He has written and/or illustrated over 30 books for children, including the 2012 Caldecott Medal winner A Ball for Daisy, which was also a New York Times Best Illustrated Book and described byThe Horn Book in a starred review as "noteworthy for both its artistry and its child appeal." His other books include the 2006 Caldecott Medal winner, The Hello, Goodbye Window by Norton Juster; the Caldecott Honor Book Yo? Yes!, and the ALA-ALSC Notable Children's Book Good Sports.

Author Residence: New York, NY
Published June 27, 2012 by Schwartz & Wade. 32 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Children's Books.

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Purple Balloon

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Using a metaphor almost universally found in the art of dying children, an image of a purple balloon floating free, this deceptively simple and beautifully direct narrative introduces first the passing of an older balloon and then—“There is only one thing harder to talk about than an old person d...

| Read Full Review of The Purple Balloon

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Raschka eases into his distressing subject by first depicting an old person's lined face, on a green balloon, and a child's face on a red balloon.

Apr 16 2007 | Read Full Review of The Purple Balloon

Privacy Policy: This site is read-only at the user level, and thus collects no information on it's users.

| Read Full Review of The Purple Balloon

Seven Ponds

Created in conjunction with Children’s Hospice International, The Purple Balloon by Chris Raschka offers a way for parents, families, friends, and hospital workers to broach how to explain death to a child.

Aug 17 2012 | Read Full Review of The Purple Balloon

Reader Rating for The Purple Balloon

An aggregated and normalized score based on 10 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review