A Ball for Daisy

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
A Ball for Daisy Book Poster Image
Wordless story of dog's ball loss mirrors kids' emotions.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Kids learn that dogs really like their favorite toys, just like kids do, and that nothing lasts forever. They also may learn that expressing their emotions is a healthy way to process bad things that happen. 

Positive Messages

It's tough to lose or break something special, but you can get over it and enjoy a new one. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Daisy is in touch with her emotions, blissfully happy and content when she had her favorite toy, and sinking so low after it's destroyed by another dog that she practically disappears in to the couch. The dog who destroyed her red ball did it by accident by playing rough, but kindly has a new blue ball waiting for Daisy at the park the next time she comes. Both dogs' owners are kind and helpful. 

Violence & Scariness

A big dog pops Daisy's red ball. 


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. 

User Reviews

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  • Kids say
Written byAnonymous June 29, 2013

A great one!

My 4-year-old loves this story, mostly, I think, because there are no words so she can make up her own to go with the wonderful pictures. The illustrations conv... Continue reading

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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? 

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love picture books and dog stories

Themes & Topics

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