Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Ball For Daisy

Raschka, Chris. A BALL FOR DAISY. New York: Schwartz & Wade. ISBN 978-0375858611 [Suggested Grade Levels PreK-3]

Chris Raschka won the Caldecott award (again) for this tender and lively wordless picture book. Daisy, an endearing puppy, has a favorite red ball that brings her much joy. Pages of scenes show her interacting with the ball, running and playing, until she meets a bigger (brown) dog. At first they enjoy their romp together, but when the big dog pops Daisy’s ball, she is heartbroken. Many bittersweet panels depict her grief, but when they return to the park, the brown dog has brought a new (blue) ball that Daisy get to keep and all is well again. Raschka’s distinctive impressionistic art moves across the pages with vivacity and zest, then aches with longing and loss, then celebrates the joyful conclusion of paradise regained.

Without text, this is a lovely book to talk about and narrate together. What dialogue might children create for the various scenes? This could also prompt a discussion of toys loved and lost, as kids share their own experiences.

Other picture books illustrated by Chris Raschka:
THE HELLO GOODBYE WINDOW (by Norton Juster). ISBN 978-0786809141
YO! YES? ISBN 978-0439921855
ANOTHER IMPORTANT BOOK (by Margaret Wise Brown). ISBN 978-0064437851

By Sylvia M. Vardell

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