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A Ball for Daisy (Caldecott Medal - Winner Title(s)) Hardcover – May 10, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


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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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Series: Caldecott Medal - Winner Title(s)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Schwartz & Wade; First Edition edition (May 10, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 037585861X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375858611
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 0.4 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,540 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 45 people found the following review helpful By J.Prather TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I am usually not one to appreciate wordless books. I need to have some text in order to enjoy a picture book and to help kids enjoy it too. This book is an exception. Raschka is a brilliant picture book illustrator. He works magic with his squiggly bold lines and his thick strokes of the brush. The depth of emotion he can portray and his expressive charm and humor are on full display in this short little story.

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.
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101 of 121 people found the following review helpful By Isaac Police on February 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Okay, I need a place to vent.

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.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Sunglow28 on November 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Rarely do I read a book that touches me so deeply. Certainly part of my enthusiasm for the text has to do with my own ball-loving pup, but the layers of emotion that the illustrator creates are incredible. The simple story - dog loses and ultimately reclaims a beloved toy - is altered into a deeper text about how profound loss can be, even if the loss seems small to those around you. The book is wordless, but truthfully, I think words would be superfluous to the book as a whole. I see this as a definite Caldecott option this year.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Landes on November 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I saw that Chris Raschka's latest book---A Ball for Daisy--was recently named one of the NY TImes Best Children's Illustrated Books of 2011 and I wanted to see if perhaps it would be a good gift for the holidays or for a baby gift or something similar. So I picked the book up, brought it home, and thought I would try it out on my 9 year old twins. Their first reaction "Dad there are no words!" In fact, Raschka crafted a really good story about a young child and her dog all without the use of any words. And that in it of itself was interesting for my kids as they immediately gravitated towards making up their own words and telling me the story instead of me reading it to them. The basic storyline is about a girl who takes her dog and his favorite red ball out to play and throughout the course of their romping around the ball pops, which makes both the dog and the child sad. The story of couse has a happy ending as the dog finds a new friend with a new blue ball and they have a great time together with the dog and daughter going home happy and tired. A great story for kids (and adults) of all ages.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By E. Strickenburg on February 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover
When I try to sit down and read cleverly worded books from front to back with my 17-month-old son, frustration generally ensues. A much better form of "reading aloud" these days involves pointing to pictures and talking about them, and jumping from page to page in an order not originally intended by the author. Wordless books are perfect for this.

"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."
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