Jessie Oliveros, author. Dana Wulfekotte, illustrator. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2018
In the same vein as WILFRED GORDON MCDONALD PARTRIDGE (M. Fox, 1985), THE REMEMBER BALLOONS gently broaches the topic of dementia and memory loss in a child-friendly way.
Grandpa holds many more memory balloons than his young grandson and loves to tell the child the story that each one holds. When Grandpa starts to age, he lets go of his balloons, slowly, one-by-one. His grandson is particularly upset when Grandpa releases the memory of their fishing trip together.
Except for the vibrant, rainbow-coloured balloons, the illustrations are black and white, allowing young readers to focus on the memories and joy they bring.
Even more beauty lies in the call to action of the child protagonist, who becomes the keeper and teller of Grandpa’s forgotten memories.
This picture book is must read for those with and without elderly or forgetful loved ones in their life.