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The Day Ray Got Away    by Angela Johnson & Luke LaMarca order for
Day Ray Got Away
by Angela Johnson
Order:  USA  Can
Simon & Schuster, 2010 (2010)
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Boy, let me tell you, I am really tired of being stored in a big warehouse and only being allowed out for special events. I am what is called a parade balloon. My name is Ray. I am filled with helium and have a yellow skin and a big smile on my face.

Although I have always wanted to experience free flight and soar up high in the sky, my handlers keep me tethered so that I can't escape. Well, one day I said to the other balloons I live with, 'This is the day!'

Lots of strange things can happen when we are taken out for a parade and I just felt that on this day something special or different was about to occur. And, as you will see, I was right!

Like parades in the past, there were many people lined up along the parade route. They were here to cheer and wave as we floated above the street. The Big Fat Cartoon Cat smirked, the Moose was careful not to snag his antlers on anything and the Superheroes leered down at the crowd. And I just floated along.

Only something weird was about to happen. With no warning the lines holding me down began to snap. The crowd screamed and the handlers began to shout, 'He's loose! Try to grab his foot!'

Obviously there wasn't much anyone could do. Snap! Snap! Snap! The lines continued to break and soon I was floating over the city. Everyone said that the parade was a total disaster. But I don't agree. In fact, it was the best day of my life because I was finally able to do what I have only dreamed of float free!

No doubt you'll look at the big balloons used in parades differently after you read this picture book. But don't expect to see me in any of these events because I'm off on a new exciting adventure now. I'm way, way, up in the sky!

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