I love books without words; they're so much fun. You can have kids "read" to you what they see in the pictures without them feeling afraid that they're getting something wrong. I once had my then two-year-old cousin read me what I thought was a wordless book. She spent 12 minutes on one page that only included Elmo and his family in their kitchen. She felt daunted by the next page's inclusion of words, so I had to step in and read to her. Unfortunately, the written words didn't correspond to her creation of Elmo's wedding, and I wasn't creative enough to keep going with her story. #sadface
A Ball for Daisy, by Chris Raschka just won the 2012 Caldecott Award. I had recently read a picture book by him about a sardine becoming a sardine (for adults who like to laugh at morbid things in picture book form: me!), so I wanted to check out what his more child-friendly books were like. A Ball for Daisy is precious. The impressionistic illustrations are fun, energetic and I can't think of any other word but adorable. Seriously, the dog is so adorable. Look at her. Just go grab the book and look at Daisy. She's adorable.
Even without words, the illustrations are organized clearly to give a child a path for reading the story. Daisy is a fun, happy dog who loves playing with her red ball. Then it pops in the park and she's depressed until she gets a new ball. So simple.
Or maybe the story isn't that simple. Maybe Daisy is actually an evil dog. I don't know. But the kids reading the story will, and that's what matters.