Three Magic Balloons as told to Julianna Margulies and her Sisters told by Paul Margulies, illustrated by Grant Shaffer (Piccolo Nero) HB RRP
Reviewed by Dianne Bates
Julianna Margulies is a world-famous award-winning actress. The story re-told in this picture book by her brother was one originally told to her and her two sisters when they were children by their father. It’s a story about three children who every Saturday go with their dad to the Children’s Zoo in a city park (probably Central Park in New York). Dad offers them money for a treat, but instead they choose to buy foods for the animals. One day, a mysterious man gives them a small reward for their kindness – a different colour balloon for each of them. At night they dream that their respective beds – to which their balloons are tethered – float through the sky where they meet three angels who grant them wishes.
It must have been wonderful to have such a loving father who was also a storyteller. But would this picture book have been published if written by an unknown author? I wondered this as I found this story sweet and sentimental but not memorable. It also contains Americanised words which might not be familiar to Australian readers.
Nevertheless the story has a certain charm and the illustrations are bright and amusing. The story’s message is: ‘Magic is everywhere; you just need to know where to look’ – which, after all, is a great message for anyone.