The Balcony


What can be gained from moving to the city? The lack of space, wildlife and plants? It’s goodbye to mountains and horizons, skies and nature as the family move to a home with The Balcony. What hope might the girl find there? Her new home is high up in a city apartment block. From there she looks over buildings and concrete and roads. Up she travels the stairs, past shops, other apartments, other lives, to her her room and the box labelled ‘My Stuff’.

Can the girl bring anything from her old life to the city? Can she escape the solitary world of the city and make some connection with nature, life and possibility? Maybe through one pot, some soil and a seed?

While the idea is not entirely original, the development and story telling is, for this is a largely wordless book, told in carefully sequenced and symbolically coloured pictures. The frames are perfectly organised, while each change is labelled with a chapter- style heading. The illustrations, from the Morris- style end papers, to the lush, overlaid, jewel toned pages, are intricate, deliberate and glorious.

The Balcony is a sumptuous, positive, beautiful book designed to be loved, cherished and shared. Bookwagon is proud to recommend this beautiful book.

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The Balcony

Melissa Castrillōn

(Simon & Schuster)

The Balcony of a city apartment is the last place that the girl wants to be for she is happy in her home of space and gardens. However, a new job for her mother means a move. What is she to do? Perhaps a pot? A seed? The hope of germination and thereafter a plant to bring colour, shape, and connections within a new life and environment?
Melissa Castrillōn travels from Mighty Min to this outstanding picture book. Her pictures are  glorious, with symbolic colouring, empathetic feelings, descriptive settings and such shape, pattern, layers and plotting. While there is a suggestion of early picture book makers in her style, there is also something continental. Furthermore this is a picture book for all ages that demands love, care, reading and rereading. This is a story of hope and opportunity.
The Balcony is a sensational picture book. Every part of it is carefully considered and executed from its portrait shape, like a top floor window, to the colouring and near wordless storytelling. Bookwagon is so proud to read, love and sell this title.


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