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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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on February 1, 2012
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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on November 25, 2011
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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on November 19, 2011
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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VINE VOICEon February 13, 2012
A Ball for Daisy is the winner of the 2012 Caldecott award.

What I liked about this book: I loved it all. After being disappointed in the 2011 Caldecott winner I wasn't holding out too much hope for this year. I am pleased to say I was very pleasantly surprised. Raschka's illustrations are outstanding. Children will easily be engaged with the brilliant water color scenes. Even though it is a wordless picture book (a genre I truly love), the story is expertly told in the illustrations. This is a great book to used with a lesson on sharing, friendship, disappointment and even sentence writing/story telling. Do you have a student that needs some practice creating ideas/sentences? Sit them down with this beautiful book and have them tell the story.

What I didn't like about the book: I loved it all. I've already ordered it for the Endeavour library and it is high on my personal wish list.

Recommended for Pre-school and up.

AR Book Level: No AR level

Mrs. Archer's rating: 5 of 5!!
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on March 26, 2015
The story is adorable. Some of the pictures and the layout were a little confusing so I docked it a star. The story is told with the pictures. The dog's expression changes with how it feels. Words are not needed when you have a story presented through good artwork. It teaches the lesson of replacing something that you've broken of someone else. (A dog loves his red ball. He goes for a walk. Another dog plays with and pops the ball. The dog is sad, goes home. Next day they meet up with the same brown dog who has brought a blue ball for the dog. A great Awwww ending.)
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on November 13, 2013
This is my two and a half year old granddaughter's favorite and most important book, the one she has been going to every day for the last month. I don't understand why people complain because this story is wordless. Who needs words on the page to describe what Daisy is experiencing when her feelings of contentment, sadness and joy are so sublimely expressed by Chris Raschka's gorgeously understated watercolors? When my granddaughter and I first looked at this book, I was the one to describe what we saw on the page ("Look how sad Daisy is, there is a cloud hanging over her, her tail isn't wagging anymore, poor Daisy, her broken ball just can't get fixed," etc. etc.). Now my granddaughter is the one who talks about what Daisy is experiencing and feeling, first with an expression of great concern on her face and then with a sigh of relief as Daisy receives a replacement ball and her happiness is restored. I love love love this heart-warming story about a dog and her ball and genuinely believe it is helping at least one little girl develop her first feelings of empathy for another creature. HIGHLY recommended.
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on October 26, 2015
Another adorable Caldecot winner. The book will grow as baby does. Because it has no words, an adult reading the book can ask questions about what the picture denotes and the child's imagination is sparked by creating his or her own story based on the picture.
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on February 4, 2012
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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on March 28, 2013
This is a 'wordless' book, and as such, is perfect for young children. This type of book allows you to guide your child in developing the story, a benefit when speech and language are emerging. The pictures are vibrant and stimulate the young listener to help tell the story. 'Wordless' books have many benefits. They allow the reader to personalize the story, substituting names and places that may already be familiar to the child. They also allow the reader to tailor the telling to the child's current comprehension level...you can simplify the story, merely identifying pictures, or expand it into a more complex level, identifying emotions and intentions. Most joyful of all, though, is when the child is able to retell the story to the reader. Because there is no text, there are no 'wrong' interpretations...the beauty of spontaneous emerging language can really shine through!
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