A Ball for Daisy Hardcover – May 10 2011
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2012 Randolph Caldecott Medal Winner
Starred Review, School Library Journal, August 2011:
"Raschka’s genius lies in capturing the essence of situations that are deeply felt by children."
Starred Review, Horn Book, September/October 2011:
"a story that is noteworthy for both its artistry and its child appeal."
Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, December 1, 2011:
“Rarely, perhaps never, has so steep an emotional arc been drawn with such utter, winning simplicity.”
About the Author
CHRIS RASCHKA has written and/or illustrated over 30 books for children, including The Purple Balloon, called "deceptively simple and beautifully direct" by Kirkus Reviews. His other books include Good Sports, an ALA Notable Book; the 2006 Caldecott Medal winning title, The Hello, Goodbye Window; the Caldecott Honor Books Yo! Yes?; and Mysterious Thelonius.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Daisy is a puppy who loves her ball. She loves playing with it and when one day her owner takes her to the park, the ball comes along. A playful romp with another dog turns disastrous when Daisy's ball pops and she is heartbroken. I say heartbroken because this dog is SAD. Raschka's illustrations are sure to touch the heart of any young child who has ever lost his favorite toy. This is all about Daisy, since we only see her owner's face at the very end. It's a feel good ending when Daisy goes back to the park only to meet up with the same dog and her owner. The good news is that they have brought a new ball to play with and Daisy gets to take it home.
This book is sure to elicit lots of smiles and teaches a good lesson about being considerate with other peoples toys. Mainly though, it's just a fun little story to share with your child and a good pick for any toddler or preschoolers personal collection. Recommended.
To all those on the Caldecott Selection Committee, you have GOT to GET OVER your OBSESSION with wordless picture books. Just because a book utilizes pictures alone to tell the story, that does not automatically make it worthy of the Medal. Seriously, it is getting out of hand. In the past 10 years, you have given it to wordless picture books 4 TIMES. It is starting to become a cheap gimmick, but you continue to suffer knee-jerk reactions to validate them.
Don't get me wrong. Tuesday is brilliant. Flotsam is also very good. The Three Pigs first showed your googly lovestruck eyes for this genre, even when the book wasn't that great. The Lion and the Mouse, I could forgive that one since Jerry Pinkney was long overdue. But now, A Ball for Daisy, and Chris Raschka receives his SECOND Medal!!?!?! No, no, no, no.
A Ball for Daisy does not deserve the Caldecott. I know that Raschka's style is unconventional, but I enjoyed Hello Goodbye Window, so it is not as if I am completely opposed to his art. The problem is that in A Ball for Daisy, the art is not clear enough to stand alone without words. Worse, the LAYOUT of the pictures does not provide a clear path for children to follow the story. The only way this story will make sense to a young child is for an adult to ADD words. I have read this book to third grade and kindergarten, and neither class was impressed or even engaged by this story.
For all the rest of you that don't follow the history of the Caldecott, and are checking out this book because it won the Medal, I have a recommendation for you. If you really want the best picture book of the year with the most outstanding illustrations, I recommend Grandpa Green by Lane Smith. It is gorgeous and children are enthralled by it. It puts tears in my eyes. Somehow, the same committee that picked A Ball for Daisy for the Medal had enough good taste to also give Grandpa Green an Honor.
"A Ball for Daisy" is a particularly sweet and creative wordless book. It follows the adventures of a lively dog named Daisy as she loses her treasured ball, is given a new one, and gains a friend in the process. It's a great story for young ones who have attachment objects, and who are still learning how to make and be friends. The illustrations are full of life, movement, and emotion.
That said, I agree with a previous reviewer that Grandpa Green seems like a much more deserving choice for the 2012 Caldecott Medal. "A Ball for Daisy" is a lovely playful romp that I enjoyed reading with my toddler, but I'm looking forward to when my son is old enough to enjoy the depth and subtlety of books like "Grandpa Green."