Well, this one made me cry uncontrollably, but it was totally worth it The concept of memories and stories being shared between people, and the ache of not being able to hold on to them as they slip away so beautifully rendered in this book, between the comfortably flowing words and the illustrations in tones of grey, highlighted with the transparent colors of the balloons One of my favorites for 2018. Well, there s a depressing picture book Don t get me wrong it s pretty good It s just so sad.Despite what the synopsis says, this isn t a book about simply getting a little forgetful as you age Grandpa has full blown, rip roaring Alzheimer s, to the point where he loses all of his memories The point at which he loses the silver balloon representing a shared experience with his grandson is gut wrenching However, there s a little bit of hope at the end, and about as much of a happy ever after as a story like this is going to get.I really like the metaphor that s used here Balloons represent memories It s not explicitly stated, but as the boy explains that he has than his baby brother, and his parents have than him, and his grandfather has than all of them combined well, it s easy to see what the balloons represent It gets even easier when the boy explains what s in those balloons The fact that even the dog has a balloon made me smile and wonder what that one precious memory is all about although I m guessing it probably has something to do with food As Grandpa s Alzheimer s takes hold, he starts to lose his balloons The boy tries to chase them, but because they re not his, he can t really catch them He has to just watch them float away Eventually, though, because Grandpa told him the stories of what was in those balloons, the boy ends up with a few new ones in his own bunch which he can then share with his grandfather.The illustrations are simple, but effective Pretty much everything is black and white, except for the balloons and the scenes depicted inside them It really helps highlight what the reader is supposed to focus on.Overall, this is a sad book, but it s a nice metaphor about memories and it could help children who are trying to understand what s happening to a family member who might be suffering from Alzheimer s.Quotable moment This is such a beautiful book The story is poignant yet simple The use of balloons makes it easy for children to understand the loss of memory in an older relative The images, with the spare use of color, really complements the story of the book I want to look at the pictures again and again and reread the words My 4 year old seemed mesmerized too as I read it to him The Remember Balloons is certainly a memorable book and one to cherish. I really have enjoyed the metaphorical and colourful balloons that author Jessie Oliveros uses in her The Remember Balloons to indicate and describe memories and how James grandfather, not only has the largest number but also the most colourful balloons in the family and is therefore also the main teller of tales, passing his balloons, passing his memories onto others, until Grandpa starts having issues with his balloons, with his memories, and to the point that one day, he has no balloons left in his repertoire, that basically all of Grandpa s memories have become lost A sad and poignant even rather depressing story Jessie Oliveros The Remember Balloons has been to and for me, but with a mildly hopeful ending namely that since young James has been one of the main recipients of and listeners to his grandfather s memories and stories, he can now and like his grandfather used to do, share and pass them on, perhaps even return them, give the balloon memories back to his grandfather, return them to their original source And this ending albeit it might also be a bit wishful thinking , it does indeed seem to take at least some of the potential sting and pain out of the author s narrative out of The Remember Balloons albeit without in any way denying or making light of the sadness and frustration that age related dementia and syndromes such as Alzheimer disease can and do inflict and cause also wonderfully and imaginatively aesthetically presented with and by Dana Wulfekotte s evocative and emotional accompanying illustrations, in so far that most of the pictures are black, white and grey hued, whilst the balloony memories are all bright and colourful, indicating both their significance, their importance, but also demonstrating visually how painfully sad and depressing their disappearance and loss from the grandfather s reach have been for everyone, for the entire family. This emotional yet charming story is of a young boy and his grandfather s fading memories. This tender story about an aging grandparent experiencing memory loss makes a very difficult time of life comprehensible for a child Memories, just like the balloons used to represent them, are shared and sometimes slip away The story doesn t skip over the frustration or anger or sadness that comes with memory loss, but lets the reader move through these emotions until finally finding the joy held in shared memories and the responsibility of transferring them to others along the way It s a beautiful metaphor and a vital story for children, as well as their parents, as they deal with a loved one whose memories are fading It truly touched my heart and gave me goosebumps. Check out reviews Perspective of a WriterPicture books are near and dear to my heart For several years I read them with my nephew who is autistic We don t read and draw together any but when the perfect picture book comes along I feel a need to revisit those times with him He identifies with children of color and he would have adored The Remember Balloons I loved right off how beautiful Dana Wulfekotte s art was and applaud the diversity found in the story The gorgeous tonal quality to the art really set off the colored balloons perfectly And I loved how the diversity with in James family deepened the story adding a sense of unity to the theme of aging It feels like a book that was written by someone who understands what a summer spent in the southern US is like And the art brings that story full circle Giving the story a dreamy summer feel for what is a heavy and difficult topic to explain to a child, age related memory loss.The Remember Balloons is a story about family, togetherness, memories and service It s achingly beautiful how the idea of memories is explained in such simple terms Then James shares with us why these balloons, these memories, are so important I just loved this so much Because I think its so important that children understand that time spent together is the best gift between two people He shows the reader how he felt spending time with his grandpa and then sharing that memory.But The Remember Balloons doesn t stop there No, it goes on to empower James He doesn t just have to accept that Grandpa is loosing his precious memories He doesn t have to dwell on how sad it is that Grandpa doesn t remember the times they spent together No, he has a way to help Grandpa remember Even if just for the moment by sharing those moments back with Grandpa he can do that service for him.Needless to say The Remember Balloons is a TOP NOTCH picture book It s perfect for children and adults with elderly family, neighbors or friends who are struggling with age related memory loss like dementia or Alzheimer s Disease It teaches them how to understand and sympathize with these struggles It s also a lovely story for all children to teach them how to relate to others in sensitive situations I highly recommend this gorgeous book for all readers BOTTOM LINE A Gorgeous Look at the Importance of MemoriesYou can find this review and many others on my book blog Perspective of a Writer Read my special perspective under the typewriter on my reviews Please like this review if you enjoyed it bow bow It helps me out a ton Having had to watch as my grandmother suffered through Alzheimers for years and ultimately passed away last year, this one hit me hard I ll likely have to read it many times myself before I can read it aloud to a group of kids But this book is a beautiful way to represent the power of shared memories with loved ones, and what is lost as that awful disease progresses This is a must have in any classroom library, especially important to be pulled out and shared when any kids are going through this with a loved one. James S Grandpa Has The Best Balloons Because He Has The Best Memories He Has Balloons Showing Dad When He Was Young And Grandma When They Were Married Grandpa Has Balloons About Camping And Aunt Nelle S Poor Cow Grandpa Also Has A Silver Balloon Filled With The Memory Of A Fishing Trip He And James Took TogetherBut When Grandpa S Balloons Begin To Float Away, James Is Heartbroken No Matter How Hard He Runs, James Can T Catch Them One Day, Grandpa Lets Go Of The Silver Balloon And He Doesn T Even Notice Grandpa No Longer Has Balloons Of His Own But James Has Many Than Before It S Up To Him To Share Those Balloons, One By One This was really good, but also really sad I cried in my office The ending helped but man did it sucker punch me with feelings The book is about Alzheimers and how that affects the relationship between a boy and his grandfather I appreciate that the family in the book is multi racial I would recommend this for k 3, but that you should read the book with them and help them process their feelings after Especially if you have a particularly sensitive child.