If you are kind, magic can happen.
That’s the lesson behind Three Magic Balloons, a new children’s book based on a story that Julianna Margulies‘ dad, Paul, wrote for her and her two sisters when they were young.
“He was a special guy, and it feels good to be able to put something out into the world that he wrote,” says the actress of her father, who died in October 2014 at the age of 79. “It’s a very loving, sweet story, and it’s just about giving.”
Illustrated by Grant Shaffer, who is married to Margulies’ Good Wife costar Alan Cumming, the book tells the story of three sisters whose father gives them money for treats at the zoo, but they use it to buy food for the animals instead.
“A balloon man who has been watching them gives them magic balloons because they have kindness in their hearts,” Margulies says. “They tie them to their beds at night and the balloons make them go up, up, up into the sky, and all these angels and majestic animals come out to greet them. All because of the kindness that they show.”
The actress says her dad’s story “would have worked back in the 70s when he wrote it, but today especially, children are so hyper-aware of things like what just happened in Paris, it’s just another gesture to show them that if you are kind to others and think selflessly, incredible magic can happen. And that’s really the message of the book.”
Margulies, 49, thinks her father, an advertising executive who created the famous Alka-Seltzer jingle, would be especially pleased that his story is being published for other kids to read.
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“I think he would love it,” she says. “He wanted everyone to have love in their hearts. He hated any kind of animosity, he really wanted everyone to find peace. That’s what this book is bringing to people. I feel lucky enough that I could have gotten it out there for him. It’s just a really sweet, hopeful story that I think the world could use right now.”
Three Magic Balloons hits bookstores in May.