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THIS IS A BALL by Beck Stanton


From the Books That Drive Kids CRAZY! series

by Beck Stanton & Matt Stanton ; illustrated by Beck Stanton & Matt Stanton

Age Range: 3 - 7

Pub Date: June 13th, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-316-43437-9
Publisher: Little, Brown

A string of narratorial mistakes in this Australian import gives children a chance to gleefully correct the adult reading it aloud.

The cover is the first clue that something is amiss. A thin arrow points to a cube, which is distinctly not a ball. But the title says otherwise. The narrator begins with a few questions to establish a base knowledge. “Is this a triangle?” (It is.) “Is this a cat?” (It isn’t.) “And what’s this?” (A banana.) Lauding the listeners’ presumably correct responses, the narrator exclaims, “Excellent! Great job. It’s good to know we agree.” But that dynamic is set up purely to fail. The clean design has a rotating collection of solid background colors on the verso pages, with crisp white pages opposite them. Each white page has an object on it. But the confused narrator just doesn’t know what these objects are. A simple, line-drawn elephant has the corresponding declaration: “This is a dog.” The Stantons anticipate giggles and a chorus of children shouting their dissent. The narrator counters with: “Nah, it’s a dog for sure. I can see its eye. Its legs. It must be a dog.” The silly banter continues, gradually combining all of the objects into one (still wildly incorrect) story.

Another metafictive storytime crowd-pleaser. (Picture book. 3-7)