i have become a big fan of Picture Book author and illustrator, Mr Chris Raschka. I first made his acquaintance some time ago with a book called A Ball For Daisy.
There are no words in A Ball for Daisy. Just pictures of a happy little dog who receives a new red ball. No words are necessary to see the JOY that comes from having a new red ball! It is written in the sparkle in Daisy’s eyes. Daisy’s girl takes Daisy and her new ball to the park to play, and oh dear! Another dog steals Daisy’s ball! And bursts it! No words are necessary to see the devastation that comes from losing your new red ball. It’s there in the hanging head and tail. Poor Daisy. But the next day the owner of the murderous dog presents a new blue ball to Daisy. Oh JOY! No words are necessary to see the relief and forgiveness. It’s there in Daisy’s prance. This book is an emotional roller coaster. Laughter and tears and cheering. I love reading this book with kids. They GET it!
In Daisy Gets Lost, Daisy and her girl go to the park with Daisy’s blue ball. Daisy gets distracted by a squirrel and chases it into the woods. Uh oh! Daisy’s lost in the woods! She doesn’t know where her girl is! And her girl doesn’t know where she is! Now we have the 1st words in the book “DAISY!!!!” We see the girl and the dog running back and forth frantically. Then Daisy howls! And her girl can find her. Yay! Happy reunion!! Another emotional story. The Mom Person got me my very own copy of Daisy Gets Lost and Mr Raschka signed it for me —
We read this book to some kindergarteners recently. They were supposed to write a story, but they didn’t know how to write the words!! So we showed them how a story didn’t really need written words. You could do it all with pictures! They were quite excited! No letters and no words to write. They could do that! And they did. They did some awesome stories!
I love wordless books. They spark imaginations and one story can become lots of stories.
Mr Raschka has written and illustrated many, many books. I have enjoyed several of them (I reviewed Fishing in the Air by Sharon Creech and illustrated by Mr Raschka here.) and want to find more. His artwork is big and bold and loose and free and full of emotion. Not all of his books are wordless. He does a nice job with poetic verse as well. He has done several books about jazz musicians in which you can feel the Rhythm and beat.
A video of Mr Raschka talking books –
Now I’m off to play with my red ball —
Your friend in the woods