A little dog and her big ball map an inner life rich in heights of joy and depths of sorrow.
Sticking strictly to pictures—using neutral washes and just a few colors applied in broad, rumpled brushstrokes—Raschka follows floppy-eared Daisy and her large red ball on a walk to the park and a happy chase. Then disaster strikes, when a rougher dog horns in and pops the ball. Even very young viewers will feel Daisy’s pain as she passes in stages through incomprehension, dismay and anger to, at last, a bone-deep sadness that is brilliantly evoked by successive views of the droopy dog slowly sinking into a sofa’s cushions. Doggy delight rekindles, however, when another visit to the park finds the offending pooch and its owner waiting…with a new, blue ball! The final scene of Daisy and ball snuggled together on the sofa positively radiates canine content.
Rarely, perhaps never, has so steep an emotional arc been drawn with such utter, winning simplicity. (Picture book. 2-5)