The book is utterly charming. The story works well on all levels, and the loose ends pull together for a perfectly satisfying story package. The illustrated Bernice is a little fireball of confused emotion, and even though she starts off grumpy, she's utterly easy to relate to and empathetic. (And holey-moley, is she ever a cute kitty!) Children will understand her social-emotional dilemma instantly.
Bernice, slighted at a birthday party, makes a rash decision that results in her drifting away, clinging to a huge bouquet of party balloons. Her journey back to emotional stability and a sharing state of mind becomes literal as we see her floating into the stratosphere and meeting other emotionally challenged characters along the way. I'm especially in love with Hanna E. Harrison's disgruntled rain cloud!
Eventually, Bernice's decision to help her own mood by helping others turns the day around--even the gloomy weather. This storybook ending couldn't be better. As an adult, I want to sneak in and read this book whenever I feel grumpy.