by Thao Lam
Owlkids Books, 2016
Wordless picture book
Interest level: Preschool to grade 1
3 out of 5 stars
This wordless picture book begins with the endpapers inside the front cover. We see a single red balloon floating by, which joins larger balloon animals on the title page. As we turn to the first page of the story, a full page of cut-paper collage illustrations let us see that we have joined a parade, with costumed people holding large balloon animals. The next page has us closing in on some of the balloon animals, and we notice a little skunk, whose foot has gotten entangled in the red balloon string that we first saw inside the cover.
The remainder of the story follows poor skunk’s adventures as he floats through the city, getting shooed away, encountering animals in the zoo, and avoiding automobile traffic to be carried out of the city. Skunk’s expression show his anguish and fear as he encounters many different situations. There is a surprise ending, which could lead to some good discussions about how persistence and courage can help us develop as people.
Young children will love to study the whimsical collage illustrations to decode exactly what is happening and where skunk is going to go next. Don’t forget to check out the endpaper at the back of the book, to really tie the story all together from beginning to end.