Saturday, June 07, 2014

Sittin' On A Rainbow: World on A String by Larry Phifer

Deep in the forest, Charlie found a balloon, big, red, and bright like the moon.

He spun it around like the world on a string

It's the best balloon--simply the best thing he's ever had.

It becomes Charlie's best friend

They do everything together.

But one day a storm grows near, and before Charlie can take care, the wind pulls the balloon's string from his hand, and his friend blows away, driven by the brisk breeze.

"I didn't mean to let go!"

But his balloon is gone and Charlie is alone. And very sad.

To console himself, though, he tries to think, not of himself, but of the balloon, riding high in the sky, and the adventures he is going to have among the clouds and soaring in the moonlight, meant to fly free.

Dealing with  loss, in this case with the metaphor of a beloved balloon, is the subject of Larry Phifer's World on a String (Storytime Works, 2014). Dan Popovici's gentle abstract illustrations, executed in glowing sunset colors give this parable of love and loss a dreamlike aura that softens the message with the thought that the friend goes on to new adventures, one easy on the hearts of the young.

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