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.
The first page reads like a baseline sanity check:
Followed by the response on the next page:
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).
TITLE: THIS IS A BALL
AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATOR: BECK & MATT STANTON
PUBLISHER: LITTLE BROWN, 2017
AGES: PRE-K through kindergarten
THEMES: HUMOR, FUN READ ALOUD, INTERACTIVE BOOK
For more perfect picture book recommendations, please visit Susanna Hill’s blog.