Book: Please Bring Balloons
Author/Illustrator: Lindsay Ward
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
This book was picked up at my recent trip to the bookstore, where I--naturally--walked out with more books then I was supposed to buy. The beautifully lush cover with the spot gloss treatment immediately caught my eye and there was something appealing about the interplay between paint, drawing, and mixed media collage that I couldn't resist. Throughout the book there are many interesting uses of the collage element that can captivate the eye through many readings: math equations, bits of graph paper, postal odds and ends, and to greatest effect, the barely visible maps that reinforce location and story.
Lindsay's quirky color palette is evident in the spread below and she uses the balloons throughout the story as a playful and whimsical counterpoint to whites and blues. These balloons graphically dance across the pages while providing a surprisingly buoyant anchor-point until we reach the cusp of the story. When the balloons disappear from the pages, we know we have been transported into a new world full of different and just as colorful surprises.
The biggest delight for me was when I looked through the sketchbook on Lindsay's website and discovered the picture book dummy for the book, which made me realize that I missed a crucial part of the book on first read: a double gatefold that reveals a most magical spread! But I can't tell you what is on the spread. You'll just have to open the book and discover it for yourself.