Three Magic Balloons by Paul Margulies
Published by Random House
The late Paul Margulies was an award-winning New York advertising executive who told many stories to his three daughters when they were children. One of those daughters is well-known actor Julianna Margulies, a multi award-winner herself for her performances in E.R and The Good Wife.
Paul Margulies published two of his stories, but it was only after his death that his daughters found his manuscript for Three Magic Balloons, which they were determined to publish.
First published by Random House, the picture book is illustrated by Grant Shaffer, an artist and Margulies family friend.
Siblings Ariel, Miranda and Jane visit the zoo every week with their father, whatever the season of the year. One Saturday their dad gives each of them some money to buy themselves something. It is too cold for ice cream and they already have plenty of sweets in a bag, so perhaps a balloon each would be fun.
Just then, Ariel notices some animals shivering in the cold, so she suggests the girls buy food for the zoo creatures and not something for themselves. Every week, from then on, the three do just that.
One Saturday in spring when daffodils and cherry blossoms are in full bloom the sisters visit the zoo as usual. Soon the zoo’s balloon man approaches the trio and gives them each a balloon on a string, saying he has observed that they never treat themselves but instead buy food for the animals. There’s a blue balloon for Ariel, a red one for Miranda and a yellow one for Jane. The man says the balloons are magical. He says before they go to sleep that night the sisters should tie the balloons to their beds.
A magical experience occurs when the girls go to bed. Carried by its own magic balloon, each bed floats into the air and carries its occupant out the window, into the sky and through the stars. At last the sisters are met by three beautiful angels who lead them into a wondrous land where heavenly animals greet them. These are animals that don’t need food because they are nourished by the kindness of children.
Back home next morning, Ariel, Miranda and Jane look under their beds and each find something beautiful to remind them of their magical night among the stars.
Paul Margulies told his daughters, ‘Magic is everywhere. You just need to know where to look!’ Any child who ventures into the land Margulies created in Three Magic Balloons will discover something magical indeed. This is a dreamy tale with a gentle message about caring and about selfless generosity. It’s a story sure to enthrall children of all ages.
CKT Book Reviewer
Author: Paul Margulies
Illustrator: Grant Shaffer
Title: Three Magic Balloons
Publisher: Random House
Published: May 2016