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A Ball for Daisy
Book cover
Author Chris Raschka
Illustrator Chris Raschka
Cover artist Chris Raschka
Country USA
Language English
Genre Children's Picture book
Publisher Schwartz & Wade
Publication date
May 10, 2011
Media type Print (Hardcover)
Pages 32
ISBN 978-0-375-85861-1
OCLC 649926186
LC Class PZ7.R1814 Bal 2011
Followed by Daisy Gets Lost 

A Ball for Daisy is a 2011 children's wordless picture book written and illustrated by Chris Raschka. The book tells the story of a dog named Daisy, who has a beloved ball destroyed and then replaced. Raschka won the 2012 Caldecott Medal for his illustrations in the book. The creation of the book took years but was praised for its ability to evoke emotion in the reader.

Background and publication

Author and illustrator Chris Raschka first thought about the idea for A Ball for Daisy 10 years before writing it, after seeing how upset his son got after he lost a ball thanks to a dog. Prior to creating the book he sketched various combinations of balls and dogs. Raschka described the process of creating the book as a difficult one. He had wanted to write a wordless picture book so that "a child could read the book without knowing how to read.'' The challenge lay in conveying the emotions the way he wanted to, but without any words.

The book was published May 10, 2011 and was followed by a sequel, Daisy Gets Lost, in 2013.


A Ball for Daisy is a wordless children's picture book that tells the story of a small white dog named Daisy and her favorite red ball. Daisy is so obsessed with the ball that she takes it everywhere with her, sleeps with it, and overall has to be near it constantly. As her owner takes Daisy out for a walk one day, her ball gets snatched by a brown dog wanting to play. Daisy tries her hardest to get the ball back, but the other dog insists on playing with it and accidentally pops it. Daisy's owner then throws the ball in the trash and takes Daisy home. For a while, Daisy acts distraught over her loss. Later, Daisy's owner takes her for another walk, and on the walk they see the same dog that popped Daisy's ball, but this time that dog has a shiny new blue ball. The other dog gives the blue ball to Daisy, which makes her very happy.

Writing and illustrations

The story centers on an idea and theme that is relatable to for children and could help build emotional resiliency. Many reviewers commented on Raschka's strength in depicting emotions so well. He uses colors to help depict the changing moods in the story.

Raschka illustrated the book using watercolors. Several reviewers also commented on Raschka's skill with broad brushstrokes. The illustrations give the appearance of having been drawn without revision and combine watercolor and comic book drawing techniques. Its Caldecott win was part of a trend of wordless picture books being honored, which began with David Wiesner's honor book Free Fall and part of Rashka's ability to "take risks" with each of his books.

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