In March, my paternal Grandmother passed away, pretty unexpectedly. I am having a difficult time coming to grips with the fact that she is gone and am still just sorting through all of my feelings. However, Drew has know how she felt as soon as she heard, and simply put, she is SAD!
I was not sure how to approach Drew about Grandmom's passing. She has such a big heart and trying to decide the best way to tell her was causing me to get myself worked up about how upset she'd be. I did not want her to feel this kind of sadness, but knew that I should tell her. She cried, and I could barely hold in my own tears, trying to comfort her.
For a little while, Drew would talk about Grandmom, and how sad she was, every single day. I would listen, adding in my own thoughts when the situation called for it. By the end of April, it seemed as though she was doing great working through her grief, and the sadness was a little less "fresh". Then, one day, she lost another tooth at school (the last time she lost a tooth was the day we lost Grandmom) and the sadness rose right back to the surface.
Dealing with your own grief is hard. Helping your sweet 7 year old deal with their grief is about a million times more difficult. Thankfully, we recently had the chance to review the book
My Yellow Balloon, written by Tiffany Papageorge and illustrated by Erwin Madrid. Talk about perfect timing! Thank you to Jennifer Tucker for introducing this lovely story to our family!
My Yellow Balloon tells the story of Joey, a young boy who receives a yellow balloon while visiting the carnival with his parents. He adores his yellow balloon and they go on many great adventures together. Then, one day, everything changes and Joey's balloon floats away. Joey is heartbroken and all of the color drains from his world. As time passes, Joey starts to heal from the loss of his beloved yellow balloon, and the color slowly starts returning. He soon realizes that the bright sun is a reflection of his balloon and it will always be with him, even if not in the physical sense. With this realization, Joey is able to see the world more richly and experience it more deeply than before.
In Awe of His New Yellow Balloon
Some of Their Fun Times
Then One Day Everything Changed- These Pages Unfold so that Joey and the Balloon are Even Farther Apart I Cried So Hard When We First Read This Part
Joey's Stages of Grief
Time Lessens Joey's Heartache
About the Author:
Tiffany Papageorge has always had a profound love for stories. She earned her MFA in Acting from the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. Through her extensive theater background, which spans a 25-year period and includes work with CBS and Disney, she learned firsthand how stories deeply touch and affect the human spirit. As an author and public speaker, she works with parents, teachers, and mental health professionals who want to find new ways to reach, capture, and engage children, including those who are dealing with the issue of loss. She also works with children directly through story to help them grow, heal, and flourish. She and her husband Paul live in Los Gatos, California with their three children. My Yellow Balloon™ is Tiffany's first children's book.
About the Illustrator:
Erwin Madrid was born in the Philippines and grew up in San Jose, California. He earned his BFA in Illustration from the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, CA. During his last semester of college, Erwin was hired by PDI/DreamWorks Animation where he contributed production illustrations for the animated feature film, Shrek 2. He later became a visual development artist for the Shrek and Madagascar franchise and Megamind. Erwin has also done conceptual art for the video game industry for titles like Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. He now works full time as a children's book illustrator.
My Yellow Balloon was an excellent aide in helping Drew (and me) grieve the loss of Grandmom. Tiffany Papageorge did an excellent job not only capturing the emotions that come with loss, but also showing how loss is a process that can lead to hope, strength, and growth. The stunning illustrations by Erwin Madrid made the story leap off of the pages and helped capture and hold the full attention of both Drew and Reese. Drew and I talked about the similarities between our loss and Joey's as well as all of the emotions we were feeling. There were definitely quite a few tears shed (by both of us), but I think Drew would have teared up if we read this book at any time because of the tone of the story and her sweet sweet heart.
Want It? Buy It!
You can purchase My Yellow Balloon through all major booksellers, including Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Books A Million. Learn more about the author and the story on the My Yellow Balloon Website and be sure to connect on Facebook and Twitter.
Want It? Win It!
One lucky reader will win their own copy of My Yellow Balloon written by Tiffany Papageorge and illustrated by Erwin Madrid. This giveaway is open to U.S. Residents ages 18 and older- one entry per household. Just use the RC giveaway form below to enter. This blog is not responsible for prize fulfillment.
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