A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Chris Raschka's A Ball for Daisy won the 2012 Caldecott Medal. This wordless story is simple in its narrative but shows every nuance of emotion with telling detail (perky ears when happy, droopy tail when sad) as the sweet pup loves and loses her favorite toy -- and then delights in getting a new one.
What's the story?
All is right with the world when Daisy has her favorite bright red ball to play with or sleep next to on the couch, but she plummets into the depths of depression after a bigger dog destroys it. Her joy is restored when she get a new ball, but first she experiences a deep sadness and loss that many kids -- and parents -- will relate to.
Is it any good?
Raschka skillfully conveys every nuance of Daisy's emotions with very few brushstrokes and highlights the important things in Daisy's world with bright color. We see Daisy's exuberance at play, her contentment at rest with her toy, and her anger, disappointment, sadness, and hopelessness when her favorite ball is popped by a big dog at the park. Kids will have no trouble following the emotional terrain as well as the simple plot line.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what it feels like when something special is lost or broken. Are Daisy's reactions much different than a kid's would be?
Daisy is drawn with just a few black and gray brushstrokes, and sometimes you can't even see her eyes, but you always know how she's feeling. How does the artist convey her emotions so well?
A Ball for Daisy won an important book award. Why do you think people like it so much?
Themes & Topics
For kids who love picture books and dog stories
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.