The Purple Balloon

This gentle little book is a place to start talking about death with children. Softly-colored balloons with expressive faces evoke the sorrow, concern and care that family and caregivers show for terminally ill family members. Raschka’s first line sets the tone for the book as he states, “Dying is hard work.” He explains how family, friends and care workers can help and how important it is to have support. He adds that the impending death of a child is the “only thing harder to talk about than someone old dying.” 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.

© 2007 Raschka, Chris
Audience: Children