The Bouncing Ball
Random House, 2013
hbk, 32 pp, RRP $A19.95
A little boy finds a bouncing ball, and like all little boys he begins to bounce it – against a wall, along the street. But then he drops it and it bounces onto the road, between the cars, into a gutter and down the drain… Then a little girl finds it and she begins to bounce it, until she too drops it and its adventures continue.
This is Deborah Kelly’s debut picture book and while the premise seems simple, there is huge scope for lots of those comments and conversations that are so precious in a shared reading experience, either in the classroom or the bedroom. Accompanied by engaging, bright illustrations which bring the words to life –is there anything better than a hot pink dog or a yellow and purple cow? – this charming story delighted the little ones I shared it with, particularly as it is perfect for them to make up the final adventure. Each one had a different idea and there were enough stories we could have written a new book. We also had fun playing around with position words, looking for where the ball might gone over, down, through, between, off, into around if we were inside or outside. Teaching riches indeed.
Neil Gaiman said recently that we have “an obligation to imagine” and this is just perfect for doing just that.