Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Purple Balloon by Chris Raschka

The Purple Balloon

by Chris Raschka

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations
9336129,846 (4.3)None



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
Who knew that a simple balloon could elicit such an emotional response? In Raschka's The Purple Balloon, he begins with a note about the story. He relays a pattern healthcare professionals encounter when caring for terminally ill children. When asked to "draw their feelings," they draw blue or purple balloons "released and floating free." By adopting this image, the author is able to communicate directly to his readers, children who are dying. The artwork is simple, yet powerful. The words are direct; there's no discussion of a "better place" or "things happening for a reason." He does not pretend that it is easy; in fact, he states: "Dying is hard." The last image, a purple balloon with a child's face, is the only hint of religion. The string of the balloon looks like wings, but it isn't overt. My favorite part is the last section. Kids and adults struggle with what to do in these situations. Raschka's "What You Can Do to Help" section gives straightforward advice, asking kids to continue to be a friend. ( )
  ewalker1 | Mar 1, 2016 |
Raschka gets some heat for the way he portrays death in this one, but I loved the purple balloon symbol. I had no idea it has made appearances in the artwork of children dealing with death. I don't think this is an adult book at all. Rather, I think it is a book for caregivers to read to children to facilitate discussion about death, whether or not it is currently an issue in children's lives. ( )
  amlohf | Jan 18, 2016 |
This was an interesting book because it talked about dying and how to help those who have lost a loved one or how to simply get over the grief of losing someone. The illustrations depicted people but in abstract forms as balloons. A good book to teach kids about death in a positive way. ( )
  TeresaCruz | Nov 10, 2014 |
This beautiful book took me by surprise, and I think it is a mild and sensitive resource to approach a sensitive topic. ( )
  jcarroll12 | Jul 22, 2014 |
This book was first brought to my attention in a class where the teacher read this beautiful illustrated, yet simplistic book about dying. It was not until recently after my family experienced a death of a young loved one that I decided to revisit this book. Chris Raschka takes such a hard topic that we all struggle to deal with and gave both me and my young child a way of seeing that others are there who wish to help and make thing easier for us. ( )
  KMClark | Jul 17, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375841466, Hardcover)

When a child becomes aware of his pending death (children tend to know long before the rest of us even want to consider it), and is given the opportunity to draw his feelings, he will often draw a blue or purple balloon, released and unencumbered, on its way upward. Health-care professionals have discovered that this is true, regardless of a child's cultural or religious background and researchers believe that this is symbolic of the child's innate knowledge that a part of them will live forever. . . .


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.


Children's Hospice International (CHI), a nonprofit organization founded in 1983, is paving the way for the establishment of children's hospice and related services worldwide.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:37 -0400)

Easy-to-read text reveals that dying is hard work, for the old and especially the young, and how good it is that so many people help when a person dies, from medical staff to clergy and friends to family members.

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
2 wanted1 pay

Popular covers


Average: (4.3)
2 1
3 4
3.5 3
4 11
4.5 6
5 17

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 105,836,776 books! | Top bar: Always visible