Ball & Balloon

Margaret K. McElderry Bks. Aug. 2019. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781534425620.
PreS-Gr 2–Ball is feeling low. He is envious of Balloon and his ability to soar gracefully into the sky. But “gravity had Ball down.” He can’t even manage a single bounce until helpful hands arrive to give him a beginning push, and suddenly he’s flying high into the air. The presence of a basketball hoop (lightly represented in background images) sends Ball sailing from hand to hand, eventually scoring in a pickup game—“I’m so lucky…So lucky to be a ball”— and a momentarily “deflated” Balloon can do nothing but wait until a playmate finds games for both of his well-rounded friends. Brief text and dialogue emphasized by dramatic use of white space, color, and perspective enhance the graphic design and the simple cartoon expressions of both Ball and Balloon. Characters speak with a child’s voice as Ball’s growing awareness of his own special abilities reveals to him that his joy is inside him, and life as a ball is just fine.
VERDICT A soaring suggested first purchase for all libraries

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