The Ball Book: Footballs, Meatballs, Eyeballs & More Balls!

Phaidon. Sept. 2019. 48p. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781838660123.
PreS-Gr 1–This book features balls—soccer balls, snowballs, and gumballs. There are also not-quite-balls, like “furballs” and balloons. Which leads to the question: What makes a ball? It’s an interesting puzzle for young readers and caregivers to unravel. Rhyming text explores the peculiar attributes of each ball. “Some balls sink [bowling ball], and some balls float [beach ball].” Some can be bounced, pitched, or served. But they can also be eaten (meatball) or chewed (gumball). While not all of the balls are named by the text, the abundant vocabulary will have readers engaged and talking about what they see. The addendum labels each ball and includes additional information. Naïve, geometric, cutout illustrations are digitally rendered. High contrast and bold coloring make the balls easy to spot and identify. Humans depicted in an array of skin tones energetically toss, shoot, and kick. However, their neckless, angular bodies are uncomfortably disproportionate, particularly in the arm length. Overall, this is a book with a lot of pep about a timeless object of recreation.
VERDICT A useful and appealing addition.

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