Today, on Christmas day, it is a confusing day for so many people. The tragedy in Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newton, Connecticut has left scars that may take a life time to heal for so many families.
As an author, a parent and a child who is a by-product of a vicious 8 year war I do not know how I would be able to deal with such horror. But I know one thing, that love is unconditional and mends wounds…….. in time.
I send my love and thoughts to all those who have been affected. Twenty six innocent beautiful, living , breathing and loving human beings were lost in this tragedy at the school. And the debate continues on the WHY. Two more individuals were lost as well and until we learn more we need to focus on those who were needlessly taken away from us.
One thing remains that 20 of those lost were children who will never reach their dreams. Yet their unconditional love will soar forever. As will the love of the adults who were taken along with them. It is their love that will be remembered. It is their love that will give us strength to give our love to others as we search for answers but I am reminded of Charles Schultz’s line in own obituary in the Chicago Tribune, Feb. 14, 2000:
The best theology is probably no theology; just love one another.
The Boy and Red Balloon will LOVE and remember them all, forever.
Here are their names:
Charlotte Bacon, 6
Daniel Barden, 7
Olivia Engel, 6
Josephine Gay, 7
Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 6
Dylan Hockley, 6
Madeleine F. Hsu, 6
Catherine V. Hubbard, 6
Chase Kowalski, 7
Jesse Lewis, 6
James Mattioli, 6
Grace McDonnell, 7
Emilie Parker, 6
Jack Pinto, 6
Noah Pozner, 6
Caroline Previdi, 6
Jessica Rekos, 6
Avielle Richman, 6
Benjamin Wheeler, 6
Allison N. Wyatt, 6
Rachel DaVino, 29
Dawn Hochsprung, 47 (principal)
Anne Marie Murphy, 52 (teacher)
Lauren Rousseau, 30 (teacher)
Mary Sherlach, 56 (counselor)
Victoria Soto, 27 (teacher)
May they always be showered by unconditional love they gave.
LOVE and Peace,
titled: “Boy and Red balloon Remember 26 white balloons”
It has been a while since I have blogged as I have been hard at work with projects and new books! But, a little boy(my little boy)…. the younger brother of the Boy in the Boy and the red Balloon just recently broke his arm and the older brother was nice enough to let go of the Red Balloon. The Red Balloon knew that the little boy’s favorite character is Woody from toy story!
Little does the Red Balloon know that the little Boy LOVES Balloons!!!
Have a speedy recovery my little Boy. Remember that everyone loves to be loved!
I and the Boy and the Red Balloon wish you, your family, your friends, your pets, your plants, your toys (yes…they love you too!) and most important of all your parents a very Merry Christmas and happy holidays.
Make sure you hug those who love you. Send a hug to those who are no longer with us who can still receive our love and we feel them around us every day and night. And send a hug to those who don’t hug you so they can learn to hug you.
That’s what unconditional love is.
From the bottom of my heart I send love to all,
Always remember to BELIEVE– believe is unconditional LOVE.
I was recently contacted by a dear friend of mine who told me the story of a girl who has been having nightmares. All I know is that this brave little girl was having some problems with nightmares and my friend was helping her with those. My friend as a way to cope with her nightmares read and gave a copy of The Boy and the Red Balloon to her. Apparently the story made an impression on her that she asked for a red balloon to have with her and she was planning to draw a face on the balloon just for her close to her. I was so numb and so moved by this story. I was humbled actually that this little book had made an impression , maybe in a small way had touched someone deep inside. i was compelled to draw and say something to this brave little girl. Here it goes: When you feel helpless and there is nothing that can stop those bad nightmares. And, no matter how hard things seem to get, you will always find one thing inside you that is sparkling and unique. There is one thing that can stop all the sadness, all the hurt, all the fear, all the hate and all hopelessness. I know these words can seem a little hard to understand but I know that you feel all of those things and it is hard to describe them with words. BUT……. remember this: You are Powerful because you have LOVE inside you. And love stops all the bad feelings, it is so strong that when you put your arm out and you smile with all the love inside you… it crushes the nightmares, it crushes the hate and the anger. Then, nothing can hurt you. And when you feel weak, don’t worry. The Red balloon and all the balloons in the world will come to your dreams and fill you with LOVE. And you will have enough to give back and send your Red Balloons to others who have nightmares too. And they will be Brave too and they will feel the Love inside them too. Soon, no one will have nightmares anymore because you started it whole thing. You were and truly ARE so brave and loving that hurt and fear has no chance!No chance at all. So, sleep well Brave little girl as there are no nightmares anymore. As the message of the book is very simple: BELIEVE. With Unconditional Love, Kaveh Adel 2010©Boyandredballoon.com
In March of 2010 I contacted the website Just One More Book, created by Andrea Ross & Mark Blevis, since I had just written my first children’s book and I eagerly wanted to know if they’d be interested in reading it. I had been hooked on their podcasts listening to their interviews and reviews after I had incidentally been trying to learn more about a favorite book that my 4 year old son who fell in love with a book called “The Rich Man and the Parrot” by Suzan Nadimi (based on an old Persian tale by Rumi). The book was given as a gift to him by my aunt who is involved in Children literature in Boise, Idaho. But I digress!
I had not heard back from Andrea or Ross for months. Then, I checked their site more closely and a chill fell over me that Andrea was diagnosed with Breast cancer and she was fighting the battle with fantastic support. Since we had, not so long ago, had a very dear and close family member pass away from Breast Cancer I felt numb. I felt bad that I had bothered them with my request. I did not know what to do, just as I had felt when our family member was diagnosed. you can see her site dedicated to her battle here on wecanrebuildher.com
Just last week, I got an email from Andrea. I was excited to hear from her. She is fighting and raising awareness. She is running to raise money for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and she needs support to reach her goal, The Boy and the Red balloon were very happy to help her (in their own small way) and if you would like you can do the same. You’ll find the link here.
As I have said before in the book, the message is simple: Believe……. in unconditional love.
Hi everyone, Today is the last day when I will donate all 10% of the proceeds from the book “The boy and the Red Balloon” to Autism speaks. book:
Profile picture on Facebook will change from all blue( in commemoration Autism awareness month) back to a new one!!! Thank you for your support for the cause
Remember to always believe and give unconditional love.
I was surfing the internet and had recently revisited the classic Film(1956) “The Red Balloon” by Albert Lamorisse when I stumbled upon the genius idea of adapting the film to a play! It is a reality! A wonderful theater group with a long history of serving theater and performance art to children since 1952 in Maryland/Washington area will open with their first performance on April 30th running until June 13, 2010.
I am sad that I will not be able to have a chance to see the performances but I am sure they will bring joy to the lives of many children and adults alike as much as the original film has done for many years.
And as the sad boy (in my book “The Boy and the Red Balloon“) feeling as though I may never see MY Red Balloon, somehow I BELIEVE that this lost opportunity to experience such a great live ART form will be felt and experienced by many other HAPPY, smiling and loving children elsewhere…….. and that brings joy and a SMILE to my face, as I know that Art expressed with LOVE will MOVE people.
To get more information about these performances feel free to visit:
or for tickets and more info contact: Adventure Theatre
Glen Echo Park • 7300 MacArthur Blvd. • Glen Echo, MD 20812
Phone: 301-634-2270 • Fax: 301-634-2269
And remember to always believe!
Finally after more than four months of hard work and one night’s inspiration while driving back from Iowa based on Kian’s experience with a Balloon, the book is published. I am so thankful that I had the support of so many beautiful people behind me. I will give them proper credit very soon. But today’s post is simple:
Insipiration can be like a lightning bolt…… It hits……you have two choices……..
1. Get hit by it and fry!
2. Or Harness it and turn it into a positive force.
I think of that cold night driving back from Iowa while the boys were watching “Finding Nemo” in the back and Semira talking to me to keep me awake in her usual loving way, always concerned and supportive. Suddenly, I was hit with that lightning bolt.
That night I wrote the book in 1 hour. Maybe the triple shot of espresso I had helped too!!!!
Now , the result is here. I am proud of it because it is from the heart. I hope anyone who reads it will feel something. And, if it does not, I will be grateful that I touched maybe one or two people, hopefully in a positive way. The lighting bolt is harnessed into a positive force.
In fact, I am honored to donate some of the proceeds from the book to two charities that are near and dear to my heart, first: Make a Wish foundation and second: Autism Speaks. You can be assured that reading this book may even grant a wish to a child in need or help (in a minute way) pave the way to heal another.
My best wishes to everyone who has dream and oh yes….. I almost forgot… here is the link to purchase the book:
I wish for all of you to have unconditional Love, health and prosperity always,
I figured I should give everyone a glimpse of the book.
More like a teaser!
No, in all seriousness it is my aim to help evoke and nurture positive emotions. In my opinion, nothing is more powerful than the written word–yet when one adds the visuals it allows the child (and the child inside the adult!) to use one’s own imagination.
That leaves room for interpretations that could range from quite simple to bizarre and far-fetched. If you have seen the new “Alice in Wonderland” by Tim Burton, you know what I am talking about. But I digress….
The visuals for Children’s books have to be pretty simplistic to allow the written word to “sink in.” Yet, they have to give enough direction to the Child to have him/her learn what the concept is!
So, I am going against my own advice and put a little 30 second video together to express MY own emotions about the book.
I hope you enjoy it! Here it is:
And remember to always be positive in face of everything that might lead you to believe otherwise!
I wish for all of you to have unconditional Love, health and prosperity always,
I got some excellent feedback last weekend about the book last weekend. I love Constructive criticism. One question that came up was this:
“I have read a lot of Children’s books but your illustrations were very simple, why did you do that?”
Ironically the answer is simple: We are reading the book and not necessarily watching it. I always wanted to have the WORDS in the WRITTEN format become the driving force and for the illustrations to be supplements. The drawings were very simple but colorful yet not too distracting, I also wanted the words to have colors embedded to enhance the meaning of the word and tie them into the actual story. A multi-sensory approach, if you will. And the illustrations are unique but not too distracting and simple enough (OK, a little more sophisticated than stick figures!) that a child can take the base image and build on it in his or her mind, and really let one’s imagination soar like the balloon!
I may have broken several rules for writing a typical Children’s book by having too many words in a page and not enough in another; changing the font size in one page and breaking with traditional punctuation but I learned from my inspiration, my son, that Children do not think like adults.
Then, why should we write like an adult and adhere perfectly to the “rule?”
Don’t get me wrong, I am all about rules….ask my wife and she’ll attest to my crazy schemes to organize things. And I do want Children to learn the rules….
A children’s book is about them using their imagination and maybe… just maybe for an adult like me who deep inside still feels like a thirteen old boy, to feel that he can bend,……….even break a rule here and there!
Remember always to believe,
I find it amazing that things align in the right place and people cross paths and ideas resonate. I was working on the next video for release to give a little more insight into the book but I was hitting a wall about music and all of a sudden I run into a site by pure accident and listen to a song that seemed to really resonate(I am liking that word tonight!) with the buildup and the feel of the book. So, I emailed the composer not expecting to get a response……..
I got a response the same day! And he lives in Japan!
In any case, he was gracious enough to let me use his music in my next video provided I would give him the proper credit(of course, he is very talented and he deserves all the credit!) So be on the look out for the video!
What I was trying to do was to make sense of it all. I set out to write a very simple book, an emotionally charged one for me, yet a simple concept with very simple drawings(as I had explained in my previous post about simplicity). I have had feedback about “The Boy and the Red Balloon“ from from my own family to friends, even complete strangers(whom I hope to call friends someday!) All have said that they felt that they were touched in a way. Each differently.
I never thought that my path would connect me with kindhearted people across the globe.
I suppose the “Red Balloon” can fly away but deep down it will always come back down to one thing and that’s the thing that connects us all.
That is one thing that as humans we strive for and most of us have it and may not even know that we possess the ability to get and even give it.
I am thankful to have these experiences to share with you and I wish everyone a life with unconditional love.
In commemoration of World Autism Awareness day(April 2nd, 2010) and to help shed light on the increasing incidence in diagnosis and prevalence of Autism all around the world I have decided to donate ALL the proceeds from my Children’s Book:
that were ear-marked to be shared between Autism Speaks and Make a Wish foundation to be given to Autism Speaks.
It is imperative to bring more attention to this and push for further research as well as support mechanisms to help all of these wonderful minds to thrive and become their own shining stars.
Several great sites to visit to learn about Autism, to get involved and to make a difference are listed below:
3. A Blog post by MOM-NOS named A hair-dryer kid in a toaster-brained world (a fantastic post with regards to realizing and seeing the positive and how the brain of an Autistic person is different yet the same as the rest of the population. )
Feel free to share this with anyone you like! and always, always remember that with love , one will overcome any hurdle……so believe.
I wanted just to say there that it is so important to care, even if it means to give someone a hug, a kiss, give them something of value or give something away. I set out from the beginning to help, with all I could, two charities that I felt strongly about. So do your part…. become passionate about some one or something other than yourself even if it means it would be for one day.
My passion for the next few days will be raising awareness about Autism specially with April 2nd approaching (world Autism Awareness Day). Enjoy the video and get involved!
Remember to always believe,
My last blog post was about World Autism Awareness Day which is on April 2nd but I forgot to mention that it is also the International Children’s Book day as well. In fact here is a little history about it from International board for Books for Young People (IBBY) taken from their website:
“Since 1967, on or around Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday, 2 April, International Children’s Book Day (ICBD) is celebrated to inspire a love of reading and to call attention to children’s books.”
that last part….. I absolutely LOVE! Inspire a LOVE of reading!
I hope you get the chance to celebrate children’s books and also raise awareness as well come April 2nd! (two days!!!)
I also wanted to share a blog post/video by Cheryl Rainfield about writing for children:
I think it was right on! what do you think?
Remember to always BELIEVE,
In the last few days the BOY has been feeling a little more sad than usual. His great grand mother passed away three days ago. He never got to meet her but has learned about her from his father. Soon, when he grows up he will see and read more about her. He will learn that many things in life are lost not unlike a Balloon flying away.
Many years ago, she lost many dear Balloons in her life. She never got to see those Balloons again. She never cried, although she shed tears inside. But she always imagined she will become a Balloon herself and fly. But, before she would become the Balloon she wanted to learn to fly. So, she flew across an ocean and 3 continents to see her grandson (the BOY’s Father) and saw him get married. She had the determination to see the world. And she did. Once she accomplished that, she returned home.
Several years later, the BOY was born. She had always wanted to talk to him and once she heard him say his father’s name across a telephone line and that was enough for her, just to hear that.
She flew one last time to visit another part of the world, several weeks ago. She wanted to do it. She knew that this would be her last flight as a great-grand-mother. So she gathered those she could to go with and everyone went along with her because it was her wish. She was happy and enjoyed her trip.
Upon her return, surrounded with all who love her(near and far), she became a Balloon herself and flew away but she is always attached to us with a string, a string filled with memories, with love–an unconditional love. And she is hovering above us with a smile. Always a smile. I imagine she is with her dear lost Balloons from years past.
The BOY, one day, will learn about this and will never, never let go.
From the bottom of my heart I send love to all,
Never let go of the string.
Always remember to BELIEVE.
I was moved by the story of an awesome little Boy named Gus who recently lost his “Orange” Balloon. So, I decided to write to him and draw him a picture here it goes:
I wanted to tell you that when you believe YOU will be with your Orange Balloon. Just try really hard before you go to bed and imagine that you w…ill see your Orange Balloon in your dreams and remember that he Loves you very very much too! Any time you miss him just remember the picture in your mind and your dream that you are with him.
Sleep well, buddy!
With unconditional love we will never lose anything or anyone, and their memories!
May everyone feel that love.
There is something about classical Guitar and how it inspires……and allows for drawings and writing to flow! I highly recommend this wonderful Artist: Maneli Jamal.
May his LOVE and passion for his ART carry him to SUCCESS just like our own little RED Balloon to the Boy!
Always Believe and have passion in your heart.
It is a great feeling when one least expects it , one is informed that what one has done has affected someone else in a positive way.
Last night, I was at a work party with my wife. I was mingling with everyone listening intently(as I always do) because I genuinely love to hear everyone’s stories–no matter what.
I spotted my wife asking me to go over to her side of the room. As I made my way through the crowd and swerved past several servers and a couple of chairs, she took my hand and stepped aside. Right behind her was a young girl dressed in white with a big smile. My wife said: ” Say hi to (Name-to preserve anonymity) , I think she wants to tell you something!”
My interest was piqued! The smiling little Lady asked, “Are you the writer?”
I politely said, ” Yes,….. well….yes I am!” immediately following with, “Did you like my book?”
She replied, ” Yes I did….. I liked it a lot…Are you going to do another one?”
I thought for a split second that the answer would be a resounding YESSSS! But, I responded with question, ” What would you like to see me do? Do you have a suggestion?”
She did not expect it and thought for a second, I then asked her to think about it and let me know when she comes up with something. She responded with a great line that made my night, ” My teacher read it too and she liked it too and she said AAWWW.” While she held her hands closely to her face looking up! I gathered that her teacher was positively moved.
Right when she said that her mom smiled and said that this little lady has been keeping my book “the Boy and the Red Balloon” under her pillow! And that her uncle got the book for her! And, she loves to draw and paint!!!! I was very humbled by this and said that I would LOVE to see her work, because I am genuinely interested what anyone has to say, or do, or draw! Especially a creative young mind!
Then I asked her, ” How old do you think I am?” She replied with a number that was pretty close to my real age…… ( I won’t divulge that because, well…read on!)
I leaned over to her and said, “I am thirteen…… I never grew up! I still act like I am thirteen!” My wife nodded her head with a definitive YES!
The little lady gave me a puzzled look and a grin.
Then, again, I leaned over to her and said, ” Now, you make sure that you don’t grow up either!!! And DO whatever your heart desires! Do what you LOVE!”
Her Mom laughed and so did she!
Deep inside, I had tears but they were tears of joy,
But I smiled,
Then a laugh!
Suddenly I was pulled away by another friend, but that encounter meant a world to me.
So to the little Lady dressed in white , the budding artist, the future writer, or whatever her heart desires:
“Remember, don’t grow up inside……..no matter how old you are on the outside, always stay creative and do what your heart desires!”
The world is waiting for your creativity, just as you were dressed in white…….you have the ability to paint the canvas of your life with your own colors!