A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka


Raschka, Chris. 2011. A Ball for Daisy. New York: Schwartz & Wade Books. ISBN 037585861X

Plot Summary
This is the story of a dog that loves her red ball. Daisy plays with her red ball, sleeps with her red ball, and takes her red ball with her on walks. Then, while out on a walk, another dog gets a hold of her ball and pops it! Daisy is really upset because she loves her ball. Daisy is now forced to play, sleep, and walk alone. Until, while out on another walk, the dog that popped her red ball gives her a new blue ball! Once again, Daisy is happy with her ball and has made a new friend!

Critical Analysis
This wordless story depicts a story that is very familiar to a lot of children—making a friend, having a dispute with a friend, and once again becoming friends. This is definitely a story that children can relate to and see themselves in. The illustrations telling this story are done with ink and watercolor and very eloquently tell this warming story. Very muted and subtle colors are blended to tell the story by expressing the actions and the emotions of the characters. Some pages show one simple scene, while others show a string of connected actions in horizontal stripes across the page. It is of particular interest how clear it is that the story focuses on the dogs of the story, never showing the upper half of the humans’ bodies. The setting is clearly portrayed through the illustrations as a modern home and a modern park, where humans walk their dogs and dogs get to play together.

Review Excerpt(s)
2012 Caldecott Medal Winner
2012 Notable Children’s Book
2011 Best Illustrated Children’s Book (New York Times)

BOOKLIST Review: “This story about loss (and joy) is accomplished without a single word, which is perfect—it puts you directly in the head space of its canine protagonist.”

THE LITTLE REVIEWER: “This is a delightful story. Daisy is the quintessential dog who loves to play, play, play. Chris Raschka (author/illustrator of the 2006 Caldecott winner, “Hello, Goodbye Window”) tells a story of a dog who loves a ball, and does so entirely through pictures…aka: no words. Sometimes these types of books make me nervous because they can be difficult to ‘read’ aloud to kids; however, Raschka’s watercolor illustrations are playful, fun, and make telling the story a piece of cake.”

KIRKUS Review: “Rarely, perhaps never, has so steep an emotional arc been drawn with such utter, winning simplicity.”

*This book can help children make connections to their own life and a time a similar experience has happened to them.
*Similar books:
Peanut and FiFi have a ball by Randall de Séve, illustrated by Paul Schmid
Otter and Odder: A Love Story by James Howe, illustrated by Chris Raschka
*Other titles by Chris Raschka
Yo! Yes?
The Hellow, Goodbye Window
Seriously, Norman!


1 Comment

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One response to “A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka

  1. Pingback: Early Lit Tips: But There Are No Words | Literacy in a Digital Age

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