A Ball for Daisy: (Caldecott Medal Winner)

by Chris Raschka (Author) Chris Raschka (Illustrator)

Winner of the 2012 Randolph Caldecott Medal

This New York Times Bestseller and New York Times Best Illustrated Book relates a story about love and loss as only Chris Rashcka can tell it. Any child who has ever had a beloved toy break will relate to Daisy's anguish when her favorite ball is destroyed by a bigger dog.

In the tradition of his nearly wordless picture book Yo! Yes?, Caldecott Medalist Chris Raschka explores in pictures the joy and sadness that having a special toy can bring. Raschka's signature swirling, impressionistic illustrations and his affectionate story will particularly appeal to young dog lovers and teachers and parents who have children dealing with the loss of something special.


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Publishers Weekly

In a wordless book with gentle, dreamlike spreads, Daisy, a feisty, black-eared dog plays with a beloved red ball indoors and out, before a climactic encounter with another dog in the park. Working loosely in ink, watercolor, and gouache, Caldecott-winner Raschka (The Hello, Goodbye Window) alternates between large closeups of Daisycurled up with the ball on a sofa, looking nervous when the ball lands behind a fenceand smaller panels for action scenes. Raschka conveys a bevy of canine moods (ecstatic, expectant, downtrodden) with brush strokes reminiscent of calligraphy, while the red ball adds striking contrast. When a brown dog causes the ball to pop, Daisy stares at it, nudges it, sniffs it, and shakes it in her mouth before gazing helplessly at her owner. But returning to the park later, Daisys forlorn expression turns gleeful as the same brown dog reappears with a blue ball, letting Daisy take it home. Readers should relate to Daisys sadness over the loss of her treasured object while understanding that such losses can sometimes lead to unexpected gainsmaybe even a friend. Ages 37. (May) Copyright 2011 Publishers Weekly Used with permission.

School Library Journal

Starred Review

PreS-Gr 2—Ever the minimalist, Raschka continues to experiment with what is essential to express the daily joys and tribulations of humans and animals. This wordless story features Daisy, a dog. The motion lines framing her tail on the first page indicate that a big red ball is her chief source of delight. Ever-changing, curvy gray brushstrokes, assisted by washes of watercolor, define her body and mood. Blue and yellow surround her ecstatic prance to the park with toy and owner. The story's climax involves another dog joining the game, but chomping too hard, deflating the beloved ball. A purple cloud moves in, and eight squares fill a spread, each surrounding the protagonist with an atmosphere progressing from yellow to lavender to brown as the canine processes what has occurred; a Rothko retrospective could not be more moving. Until that point, the action has occurred within varying page designs, many showing Daisy's shifting sentiments in four vertical or horizontal panels. Her attentive human's legs are glimpsed frequently, a sunny child whose warmth is transferred in comforting full view at bedtime. When another day dawns, the frisky dog's person proffers a blue surprise; the exuberance at having a ball and a friend is barely containable across two pages. Raschka's genius lies in capturing the essence of situations that are deeply felt by children. They know how easy it is to cause an accident and will feel great relief at absorbing a way to repair damage.—Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library

Copyright 2011 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

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."

Chris Raschka
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.
Classification
Fiction
ISBN-13
9780375858611
Lexile Measure
N/A
Guided Reading Level
N/A
Publisher
Schwartz & Wade Books
Publication date
May 20, 2011
Series
Caldecott Medal - Winner Title(s)
BISAC categories
JUV039060 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Friendship
JUV039050 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Emotions & Feelings
JUV040000 - Juvenile Fiction | Toys, Dolls & Puppets
JUV002070 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Dogs
Library of Congress categories
Stories without words
Dogs
Balls (Sporting goods)
Caldecott Medal
Winner 2012 - 2012
Golden Archer Award
Nominee 2013 - 2013

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