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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

it's tough to lose your balloon, written and illustrated by Jarrett J. Krosoczka. Alfred A. Knopf, Random House. 2015. $20.99 ages 3 and up

"It's sad to drop your
sandwich in the sand ...

... but it'll make some
seagulls very happy.

It's never fun when you
break a toy ...
... but you'll have fun
fixing it with Grandpa."

Can you think of anything that happened today for you that left you feeling a little bit sad or mad? I dropped a picture frame and broke the glass ... looking at the photo inside made me remember the day we took it and why. I spilled a glass full of water on the kitchen floor ... my granddaughter thought it was a 'knee-sapper' when she watched my face as it happened. It's important for each of us to take those things we find frustrating and think of a positive outcome for it.

To that end, Jarrett J. Krosoczka captures moments and events that could lead little ones to tears of frustration. Rather than fall prey to such negative feelings, he offers an alternative.  By looking from an optimistic perspective, we can make the best of what has happened. As adults we know that what seems catastrophic to a child is pretty trivial in the way of the world. That does not make it any less important or worthy of attention.

These are quite common experiences and most children will relate to each one. A small trauma is accompanied by a facing illustration that brings emotion to the forefront. Turn the page and a cheerful double page spread is background music to the positive that comes from it. There is much to be seen in the artwork; the joy expressed with what happens next is quite lovely. Solutions to our difficulties are not always evident; there is one if we just take the time to look for it. Even if things seem bad, there's a chance to make it better.

"So when life gives you rain ...
... look for the rainbow."

Lots of opportunity for talk, and to share memories of rough times, make this a book that should be on classroom and home library shelves. It's a perfect reminder to all of us to look on the bright side!!!

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