Picture Book Review: Fall Ball
Author: Peter McCarty
Illustrator: Peter McCarty
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company, LLC
Age Range: 4-8
Grade Level: Preschool – 3
In “Fall Ball” Bobby and his friends wait all day for school to end and for their chance to play outdoors in the fall weather. Flying leaves, swirling colors, and crisp air make the perfect setting for a game of football with Sparky the dog.
The kids are surprised by how quickly it gets dark, and even more surprised when it begins to snow. But there’s no need to worry―the chilly nights ahead will mean watching football on the couch with family, tucked under a cozy blanket.
My Review of Fall Ball
Initially, the illustrations on the cover of Fall Ball first called me to this book, with the color scheme being the deciding factor. The dominant sepia theme sprinkled with subdued reds, blues and grayish tones create a crisp autumnesque environment. Then the kids faces took hold of me. The caricatures make for a delightful group of kids like none I’ve ever seen before. With simple facial features and hair that seems to stand as if permanently blown by the wind, these kids often made me laugh out loud. Happy, surprised, excited – the faces remain the same and yet you somehow just know what they are thinking.
As Fall Ball unfolds, young listeners and early readers experience the joys of getting out of school and going home to play with friends before it gets too dark outside. This reminded me of a simpler time, when kids had a bit more freedom to roam around the neighborhood without worry. I’m not sure today’s kids will “get” that part, but I enjoyed the recall. When a feisty dog steals the football and heads towards a great pile of leaves, you can imagine and almost hear the kids squeals as they chase after their coveted ball and the laughs when everyone lands in the leaves.
Overall, Fall Ball is a charming story with captivating illustrations that will create a lot of excitement for a young audience.
About the Author
PETER MCCARTY is the author and illustrator of many books for children, including Fabian Escapes, Moon Plane, and T Is for Terrible, as well as Hondo & Fabian, a Caldecott Honor Book. He lives with his family in upstate New York.
I obtained a copy of this book to review from my local library.