The bouncing ball by Deborah Kelly

cover image

Ill. by Georgia Perry. Random House, 2013. ISBN 9780857980045.
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Picture book. Humour. A boy finds a small red ball. He plays with it, bouncing it, hitting it against a wall, and throwing it up into the air. But it bounces away between two cars, into the gutter and through the pipes and into the sea. There it washes up onto the sand where a girl picks it up, and the same thing happens all over again. And then again, and at the end of the book, the reader is asked to predict what may happen next.
This is a charming tale of finding something then losing it. But the loss means someone will find the item and then lose it as well, the tale becoming circular. Children will love reading the story, watching the ball come to different owners, reflecting on their own possessions and how they have lost objects, and pondering about what may have happened to them. The end invites the reader to predict what may happen and describe their own scenarios for the lost ball.
I could imagine a teacher or parent making up a template similar to the book's outline which is repeated, having the children drawing up their own storyboard for the ball's next adventure and using their imaginations to describe the most outlandish of possibilities. These could be displayed in the classroom adding another layer to the wonderful text.
Fran Knight