This is a ball By Beck and Matt Stanton



This is a ball was recognised as a ‘Notable Book’ at The Children’s Book of the Year Awards. The cover proclaims this to be a book ‘that drives kids crazy!’ and this statement was certainly accurate in our household!


The cover clearly shows a simple drawing of a box, with the title ‘This is a ball’ and an arrow pointing to the box. And that pretty much sums up the whole text. Each page has an illustration of some kind, with a completely inaccurate sentence about the illustration. Another example is the page showing an elephant and the text reads: ‘This is a dog.’

One of the book’s goals is to drive kids insane and I guarantee your kids will be yelling at the pages as you read. Each page also includes a response to what the author has imagined the child will say when the page is read; things like:

‘Are your eyes working properly? We might need to take your temperature.’

Why I love it:

It’s a bit like ‘The Book With No Pictures’ and it’s a lot of fun. My kids adore this book, as did the Grade 2s I read it to this week. It does drive them crazy, but that’s the appeal.

The back cover of the book explains that the thought process behind the creation of This is a ball, is to give children a chance to be right. It acknowledges that adults are always right, but this time, the kids are going to get to correct the grown-ups, and they’re going to love it!

I really like this as the reasoning behind it and I really like driving my kids insane!! 

Themes/ideas to discuss with your child:

  • Being right
  • Being wrong
  • Reality
  • Fiction
  • Exasperation
  • Questioning what we think we know
  • Arguing a point
  • Feeling frustrated

Questions to ask your child:

Before reading:
  • What do you think this book might be about?
  • Do you think this is a fiction book (a story) or a non-fiction book (facts)?
  • Is this a book you want to read? Why/why not?
  • Is that a ball on the cover?
  • Why do you think the title says This is a ball, when the picture is not of a ball?
  • What does the text in the top right corner of the cover say?
  • What do you think this means for the rest of the book? What is it going to be like?
After reading:
  • Did you enjoy this book? Why/why not?
  • How did you feel while the book was being read?
  • Why do you think the authors wrote this book?
  • Is this a book you would recommend to other children? Why/why not?


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