(Chronicling Caldecott is a series where we will write a brief review of every Caldecott Medal winner in no particular order. We’re going to start with a recent one, 2012’s A Ball For Daisy by Chris Raschka.)
I’m not gonna lie — as a lover of words, I’m not generally crazy about picture books that leave them out. Give me some dialogue. Some interjections. Give me some cleverly crafted prepositional phrases and let the illustrations do what the adjectives can’t. But you know what? The wordless thing works in A Ball For Daisy. Raschka manages to capture the energy, emotion, and even the naptime inertia associated with dogs in an unforgettable way. Telling the story without words helps the young reader see the whole tale from Daisy’s perspective.
It’s a simple enough story that explaining it in more than a few sentences would give the whole thing away. I’ll keep it at dog meets friend, friend breaks toy. Most kids past toddlerhood can relate to it. Everyone is happy at the end, which is important in a book for such a young audience.
The brown poodle Daisy encounters at the park resembles Zoe, the Reader family dog. This book makes me want to get out some watercolors with Kitty and try to create a portrait of her, but we’re no Chris Raschka. That’s why he has the Caldecott and we just have this little blog.
Mama’s rating: 7 out of 10 comfy napping couches
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