cover image A Ball For Daisy

A Ball For Daisy

Chris Raschka. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-375-85861-1

In a wordless book with gentle, dreamlike spreads, Daisy, a feisty, black-eared dog plays with a beloved red ball indoors and out, before a climactic encounter with another dog in the park. Working loosely in ink, watercolor, and gouache, Caldecott-winner Raschka (The Hello, Goodbye Window) alternates between large closeups of Daisy%E2%80%94curled up with the ball on a sofa, looking nervous when the ball lands behind a fence%E2%80%94and smaller panels for action scenes. Raschka conveys a bevy of canine moods (ecstatic, expectant, downtrodden) with brush strokes reminiscent of calligraphy, while the red ball adds striking contrast. When a brown dog causes the ball to pop, Daisy stares at it, nudges it, sniffs it, and shakes it in her mouth before gazing helplessly at her owner. But returning to the park later, Daisy%E2%80%99s forlorn expression turns gleeful as the same brown dog reappears with a blue ball, letting Daisy take it home. Readers should relate to Daisy%E2%80%99s sadness over the loss of her treasured object while understanding that such losses can sometimes lead to unexpected gains%E2%80%94maybe even a friend. Ages 3%E2%80%937. (May)