The Ball Book: Footballs, Meatballs, Eyeballs & More Balls!

by Joshua David Stein (Author) Marcus Oakley (Illustrator)

The Ball Book: Footballs, Meatballs, Eyeballs & More Balls!
Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

Bounce along with this rhyming read-aloud about all kinds of balls!

From footballs to eyeballs, beach balls to meatballs, if you can roll it, this book has it! With his signature whimsy and wordplay, author Joshua David Stein compares and contrasts different kinds of balls in this part-reference, part-comedy act. The book invites readers to identify various sports balls, while simultaneously weaving in a whole selection of unexpected rollable objects. A winning formula for every young reader who loves to kick, throw, catch, or giggle.

School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 1-This book features balls--soccer balls, snowballs, and gumballs. There are also not-quite-balls, like "furballs" and balloons. Which leads to the question: What makes a ball? It's an interesting puzzle for young readers and caregivers to unravel. Rhyming text explores the peculiar attributes of each ball. "Some balls sink [bowling ball], and some balls float [beach ball]." Some can be bounced, pitched, or served. But they can also be eaten (meatball) or chewed (gumball). While not all of the balls are named by the text, the abundant vocabulary will have readers engaged and talking about what they see. The addendum labels each ball and includes additional information. Naïve, geometric, cutout illustrations are digitally rendered. High contrast and bold coloring make the balls easy to spot and identify. Humans depicted in an array of skin tones energetically toss, shoot, and kick. However, their neckless, angular bodies are uncomfortably disproportionate, particularly in the arm length. Overall, this is a book with a lot of pep about a timeless object of recreation. VERDICT A useful and appealing addition.-Richelle Rose, Kenton County Public Library, KY

Copyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

"Great fun."—Kiss the Book Jr.

"Kids, especially those who are sports-inclined, will like The Ball Book. Reluctant readers will like the short sentences and the simple words. Teachers will get loads of giggles when reading to her/his class; high volume laughs will occur because of the unintended slang. Even kids a few years older than the stated age range, will want to read and re-read this factual picture book."—Kid-Lit Reviews

Joshua David Stein
Joshua David Stein is a writer, editor, and podcast host in New York City. He is the editor-at-large at Fatherly and host of The Fatherly Podcast. He is the author of multiple adult books, including Food & Beer (Phaidon), Epicurean Journeys (Rizzoli), the forthcoming To Me He Was Just Dad (Artisan), as well as the co-author of Notes from a Young Black Chef (Knopf). He has also written several children's books, including Can I Eat That?; Brick, Who Found Herself in Architecture; The Ball Book (all Phaidon); and most recently The Invisible Alphabet (Rise x Penguin Workshop). He recently founded The Band Books, a band that performs children's books to music. A longtime media fixture, Stein has been the editor-in-chief of BlackBook magazine, the editor at Black Ink, a senior editor at Departures, the senior editor of Eater, and the editor-at-large at Out magazine and Tasting Table. He is currently a contributing editor at Food & Wine. Stein lives in Brooklyn with his two young sons.

Dominique Ramsey is a freelance illustrator from Atlanta, Georgia, who has a passion for telling stories about animals, nature, and the whimsical-mysteries things in life. Her inspiration comes from animation, video games, music, and children's books that have an animal focus, including the Warrior Cats book series and the Pokémon game franchise. Her inspiration also comes from animals themselves, the spiritual connection they have, their relationship with people, and what they mean to different cultures. Dominique strives for uniqueness, using bright colors, bold lines, shapes, and patterns that can excite and capture the viewer's eye. Her work focuses heavily on symbolism, where she explores themes such as mystery, culture, identity, and the subconscious mind. Her work has been acknowledged by 3x3 magazine, Society of Illustrators, and Creative Quarterly. She received her BFA in illustration from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2020.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
September 20, 2019

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