By Sarah Drummond
Pomegranate, $9.95, 16 pages
What does a dog like more than playing with a new toy? A new friend to play with, of course! In an open field, a black pup happily wags his tail as a raven circles in the sky overhead, watching. The dog suddenly digs up a red ball, its color strikingly bright against the black and white background. Who decides to join the dog in his fun game? The raven! With a red beady eye, the bird swoops down toward the dog and snatches the ball from his mouth. The chase is on!
Sometimes a story with no words and only pictures has the greatest messages. Raven and the Red Ball, by Sarah Drummond, manages to tell an entire novel’s worth of story in a mere sixteen pages of beautiful illustrations. Using just three colors (black, white and red), Drummond’s technique is to use a few lines to hint at a great amount of motion. Although marketed for pre-readers, this book is also perfect for all readers and adults who appreciate a book with exceptional graphic design (open and closed space, a study in contrast, etc.).
The pair twist and turn, race and stalk. But what happens when the dog gets too tired to play? Will the raven keep the ball for himself? With no text, Drummond’s book delivers kid-friendly lessons about sharing, the nature of play and true friendship.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Franklin
Purchase from publisher at http://www.pomegranate.com/a225.html