John’s Balloon • Portugal

Written by André Águas & Tomás Machado
Illustrated by Joana Cavadas
Translated by Guo Xiaohan


The story of “John’s Balloon” is originally a very well-known nursery rhyme in Portugal. It conveys a message of fortitude and resolution in the pursuit of one’s dreams, despite all obstacles.
In this original version written by our authors, little John’s balloon suddenly flies away; but instead of crying over his loss, he decides to run after it, and vows to catch it eventually—even if it takes him all day! His adventure leads him all across Portugal, where he meets historical figures and important symbols of Portuguese identity, which help him grow confident and grow—until he finally gets his balloon back!
Joana’s refined collages and visual invention make this pursuit all the more enjoyable to read.


Joana Cavadas
A native of Lisbon, Joana Cavadas graduated from the renowned Institute of Visual Arts, Design and Marketing. As an illustrator, graphic designer and educator specializing in children’s workshops, her former clients notably include the Museum of the National Library of Spain, and the NGO “Casa do Caminho” in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
See more of her works on: aviaodepapel

André Águas
After marketing and advertising studies in his native Portugal, and three years working as a creative copywriter in a big advertising firm, André answered the call of his wanderlust. He started to roam the world, taking up a variety of employments wherever he went – and making every new experience the subject matter of his writing. He was last seen working as a football coach assistant in Riyad, Saudi Arabia.

Tomás Machado
Now based in Switzerland, Tomás graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts of Lisbon, and studied comics illustration in France. He has also participated in the making of several short films and commercial breaks. Currently, he tends to focus on his painting and illustration work, displayed on: CargoCollective

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