I Just Realized This is the Third Time
I’ve Posted About Raschka’s Illustrations in 2011.

h1 June 7th, 2011 by jules

I admit that I sometimes envision what it would be like to be the kind of picture-book blogger who just flings up images of spreads from books without any kind of book summary or extended thoughts ‘n’ ramblings about why I like said books. It would be easier and less time-consuming that way. I could even do way more posts if all I’m showing is art. But I just can’t do that. I feel like I owe my blog readers at least a little bit more than just pasting images.

That said, though, it’s late as I type this, yet I want to show you some spreads. So, I shall. And, since it’s past my bed time, all I will say is that a) these are from Chris Raschka’s May title from Schwartz & Wade, called A Ball for Daisy; b) as I’ve already made clear numerous times here at the blog (most notably in my 2009 interview with him, but also note this post’s title), I’m a raging fan of Raschka’s minimalist, vigorously-stroked artwork; and c) I really like this book.

It’s about friendship (a dog and his favorite ball) and loss (ball gets busted by large, over-enthusiastic dog in park) and how a friend can comfort you when you feel such loss (little girl pet-owner pets sad dog, whose red ball is kaput and who is way past the aggle flabble klabble stage and is merely just lying drained on the couch). And how one can make up for such sadness (overenthusiastic dog and his pet owner bring a new blue ball* the next day to the sad dog).

See, if anyone’s gonna tell such a story which, on the surface, involves merely a dog and a ball and make you feel something, Raschka can. I even got fairly verklempt for a moment, in spite of myself. It’s downright moving — and told with such seeming simplicity. And it’s all wordless.

So, that’s not very detailed, but …hey… if you get a library or bookstore copy for yourself anyway, you won’t feel let down. Well, I realize Raschka’s art is not for everyone—whose artwork is?—but I give this title the thumbs-up anyway. For what that’s worth.

Here are some spreads. Click each to enlarge. Enjoy. And see you later this week after I’ve gotten some sleep.

(* Yes, the new ball in the spread below is green, not blue. I suppose the publisher sent me spreads that were created before the final art, as other things like the girls’ dress colors in that particular spread are also different. But you can still get the general idea here.)

* * * * * * *

A BALL FOR DAISY. Copyright © 2011 by Chris Raschka. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Schwartz & Wade, New York, NY.

11 comments to “I Just Realized This is the Third Time
I’ve Posted About Raschka’s Illustrations in 2011.”

  1. Oh gosh. The Pooch — the one in our household — has a favorite ball, too. She’s got three nearly-identical ones, but only the hot-pink one which is a fraction of a centimeter smaller than the other two will do. She KNOWS that ball.

    Looks like a great book, by an illustrator who obviously “gets” dogs at least as well as he “gets” illustration!

  2. sad dog, whose red ball is kaput and who is way past the aggle flabble klabble stage and is merely just lying drained on the couch

    Ha! Methinks this blogger knows a thing or two about dogs, too…

    (“Aggle flabble klabble stage” is a phrase as perfect as it is hard to say three times fast.)

  3. John, do you know that reference? “Aggle flabble klabble,” that is? Or do only hard-core children’s lit nerds know it? I’m curious.

    Nevertheless, it comes from Mo Willems’ Knuffle Bunny (See #2 here.) The frustrated toddler in the book yells that at one point, and I find it to be a phrase that works well for moods like that.

    Yes, you and The Pooch need to see this book, John.

  4. I believe Chris Raschka is a genius. Yup.

  5. Leda, I just tried to “like” your comment. I need to take a Facebook break.

    Anyhow. I agree.

  6. Aggle flabble klabble works better in the book than in the musical, by the way. The song is quite long, and I found the baby-babbling is much more effective when used in short bursts.

    Characters named Daisy ROCK.

  7. Chris Raschka is my favorite illustrator; I can never get enough of his work. Thanks for sharing the spread!

  8. […] that are obviously aimed at very young children, like Tad Hill’s Duck and Goose board books, A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka, or Everything I Need to Know Before I’m Five by Valorie Fisher, we also publish […]

  9. I finally got my hands on this book, and now I’m a total fangirl.

  10. While the book is cute and we all love dogs, I am at a loss here to understand what makes the illustrations in this book worthy of a Caldecott. I understand the book has appeal and children like it, but coming from an artistic standpoint I am puzzled.

  11. Well, I think the gestural drawings are just about a perfect example of how that art should be in a book. Every emotional nuance is easily read and and the design choices (full page spreads, panels that jump over the gutter, square cells that read more traditionally, for instance) all within a very restrained color palette (mostly primary colors) seems rather brilliant to me.

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