What Adrienne Thinks About That reviews The Purple Balloon, by Chris Raschka and addresses one of the hardest things to talk about: untimely death. Adrienne writes,
Overall, this has the hallmarks of a book for the youngest children—bold images, simple text, clear type. I think the reader can enter what’s really going on here, though, through the line, “Dying is hard work....” If you have spent any kind of time with someone who is dying, then you know that dying is hard emotionally, but work? People who are dying get angry and frustrated and sad and scared; most often, they don’t want to die. Physically, though, and, ideally, emotionally, death becomes a process of giving in to the inevitable, the soul surrendering to what the body demands. That is not work. Trying to live when one’s body is ill is work; dying isn’t. Dying is a lot of work, though, for the people who are watching and caring for the dying person—in this case, this book’s real audience, adults.