Winner Wednesday: A Ball for Daisy

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I recently read A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka, and even brought it in for one of my practicum experiences at the children’s hospital, which was very interesting to see the reactions of the children.

I found it interesting that another wordless picture book could have such a profound impact on me. I was very suspicious of wordless picture books before taking this class, but since reading more this semester, I have grown more of a fondness for them. In my experience of reading them, as well as reading them to children, I think it allows for a lot more creativity on the reader’s side, as they can develop their own story without an explanation on every page. Raschka himself said that he felt as though if he added words it would take away from the illustrations because it would simply just be a description of exactly what had been drawn out, which he deemed unnecessary. I certainly believe that there are a lot of books that fit into this realm, and could certainly be wordless had the author chosen to do so. 

This is likely why this book distinguished with the Caldecott Award in 2012, as it is a very detailed book that conveys Daisy’s emotions without using any words. I really enjoyed the vibrancy and brightness of the pictures, which adds a youthful undertone and makes it more attractive for younger ages. It certainly attracts individuals who are dog or animal lovers and is incredibly relatable to me, and I’m sure many other dog owners.

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With all of the books that I have been reading, I have actually become more partial to wordless picture books, as I feel they can say more than those with words. The story was so well told with the images that there were no words necessary. As well, similar to the other wordless picture books, the lack of text opens the story up for some interpretation, which I have grown very fond of, as it allows children to use their imagination and creativity and create, to some degree, a story of their own.

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The book is very heartwarming following Daisy’s sadness for her lost ball, but when she gets a new ball, the reader is able to truly feel Daisy’s happiness. Raschka is able to create illustrations that clearly distinguish Daisy’s emotions–be it sadness, nervousness, or happiness–which is an incredibly difficult thing to master, especially with an animal.

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-Julia Ham

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