Customer Review

99 of 117 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Attention Caldecott Committee:, February 1, 2012
This review is from: A Ball for Daisy (Caldecott Medal - Winner Title(s)) (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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Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 13, 2012 10:05:40 AM PST
My students Kindergarten through 5th grade loved it. One first grader even wrote a story to go with it. She needed practice putting ideas into sentences. And no, I didn't give her the words. She used her own. I agree That Grandpa Green is outstanding as well.

Posted on Mar 20, 2012 3:01:38 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Mar 20, 2012 3:02:01 PM PDT]

Posted on May 31, 2012 5:05:54 PM PDT
M. Kirkland says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on May 31, 2012 5:15:19 PM PDT
When you write a review of a book you purchase from Amazon they dictate the cover that is used.

Posted on Aug 1, 2012 11:37:08 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 1, 2012 11:48:04 AM PDT
Stickler says:
The Caldecott Awards have degenerated, haven't they? Perhaps they are atoning for their neglect of Mercer Mayer's Frog series? So we're doing penance with Raschka? Noooo!
My 2 year old grandaughter had the most succint, and accurate, review of the book: "Scribble!" She gave me an anxious look - fearful, perhaps, that the "artist" got in trouble for his efforts.
Amen to Grandpa Green! It's gorgeous, literate, etc.

Posted on Oct 9, 2012 12:58:24 PM PDT
CRE says:
Good for you, Mr. Police. Thanks for your frank assessment.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 13, 2012 10:56:11 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 13, 2012 10:57:07 AM PST
Dear M. Kirkland,
So you cannot have an opinion about a Caldecott medal winning book unless you've won a Caldecott medal? By this logic, the Caldecott committe itself can't judge the books. Forgive me if I've misunderstood your point.

Posted on Nov 13, 2013 10:07:36 AM PST
Isaac Police is RIGHT ON THE MONEY on every point!!! My first-graders were similarly bored with A BALL FOR DAISY. The Caldecott obsession for Chris Raschka is disheartening. His THE HELLO, GOODBYE WINDOW had no business winning over the magnificent ZEN SHORTS by Jon Muth. Raschka made one great book, and that is YO YES! which won a Caldecott Honor. I.P. is also right when he derides the committee for this bizarre infatuation with wordless books. Of the recent winners in that format, only THE LION AND THE MOUSE by the great Jerry Pinkney was deserving.

Lane Smith's GRANDPA GREEN was not only the best book of it's year, but one of the most beautiful and moving picture books of all-time. Certainly in the same category for emotions as THE GARDENER and GRANDFATHER'S JOURNEY. The Caldecott Honor was simply not enough. The book richly deserved the gold.

A BALL FOR DAISY confused kids, and the abstract art isn't really all that eye-catching. We have seen it before from Raschka. I haven't been this angry since the mediocre, unremarkable MY FRIEND RABBIT won years back.

I guess we can now all expect Aaron Becker's wordless JOURNEY to win in January (for 2013 books) It's a very creative book for sure, but the most beautiful book for this past year by far is THE MATCHBOX DIARY.

Posted on Nov 25, 2013 8:04:56 AM PST
I am a reading and teacher and grandmother. I love this book! My granddaughter loves this book. It is her first encounter with problem and solution literature which has a beginning a middle and an end. She laughs when I tell it. Each time I tell it differently depending on her interest and reactions. As she ages I use more and more wonderful words. PS. I also love this book just for me. ( I have three dogs) I think the Caldecott make sense. (Sorry - I do)

Not sure about the other wordless books you mention. I am going to look them up right now! We do agree on the importance of wordless books!!!!!!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 13, 2013 2:17:03 PM PST
Isaac Police says:
Sam, thanks for the kind words (and thank you to everyone else, it is nice to see that I'm not alone in my ranting). I actually really, really like Journey. I think it would be a worthy recipient. It is exactly what a wordless picture book should be. But you have certainly piqued my interest to go out and find a copy of The Matchbox Diary. Thank you!
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