This is a ball – Perfect Picture Book Friday – #PPBF

Text and IllustrationⓒBeck & Matt Stanton

I missed this book when it first came out in the U.S. in 2017. Before we open to the first page, let’s take a look at the back cover. Here is everything you need to know.

Text and IllustrationⓒBeck & Matt Stanton

The first page reads like a baseline sanity check:

Text and IllustrationⓒBeck & Matt Stanton

Followed by the response on the next page:

Text and IllustrationⓒBeck & Matt Stanton

We’re all on the same, ah, page, until we turn the page, that is, and see the statement and object depicted on the cover of the book. We then fall down the rabbit hole of “wrong” interpretations of the simple objects depicted: a cube, an elephant, a car….that are all incorrectly named. Hilarity ensues.

A terrific read aloud for groups, it does make you think about how the names of things are really quite arbitrary, but having everyone agree on what those things are called is key to successful communication.


Pair this book with PRESS HERE by Hervé Tullet or BJ Novak’s THE BOOK WITH NO PICTURES.

Draw you own objects labeled with the “wrong” names and make them into a book.

Talk about visual dictionaries, and why having a standard, agreed upon name for a person, place, or thing is important. Pair this book with a children’s visual dictionary or encyclopedia, like The Animal Book published by the Smithsonian (DK).




AGES: PRE-K through kindergarten


For more perfect picture book recommendations, please visit Susanna Hill’s blog.

11 thoughts on “This is a ball – Perfect Picture Book Friday – #PPBF

    • Jilanne Hoffmann says:

      The authors do a good job of extending or adding a twist to the joke a little each time so it’s not the same joke over and over again. So many books get published, I’m sure we only see a small fraction each year. It’s one of the many reaspns why I’m grateful to the children’s librarians at the SFPL for pulling books to feature them on top of bookshelves throughout the children’s dept.

    • Jilanne Hoffmann says:

      And it comes in such an unassuming package. I don’t think I would have picked it out if it had just been spine out on a shelf. I think it will get just as enthusiastic of a response from kids as The Book With No Pictures.

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