Genevieve Petrillo, Author
Lea Lyon, Illustrator
Tilbury House Publishers, Fiction, 2007
Suitable for: Grades 3 to 6
Theme: Visual Impairment, Disability, Self-reliance, Sports
Opening/Synopsis: “Davey looked like every other new kid that ever came into our class. Ms. Madison walked him in and said, ‘Boys and girls, this is Davey.’ He was medium height. He had medium brown hair and medium brown eyes. A regular kid.” When Davey asks the teacher if he can look around, he walks around the room touching the book-case, blackboard and his desk. Davey is blind. The students realize that Davey is very resourceful and can do just about everything the others do. All of the kids try to be helpful and offer to do things for Davey. His response is always “Thanks, but no thanks.” When they play kickball, things escalate a bit and no one wants him on their team.
Why I like this book: Based on a true story, Genevieve Petrillo has created a heartfelt story about how students respond to a blind student. Lea Lyon’s illustrations are colorful, expressive and full of action. Once again she uses students from a visually impaired classroom to act out scenes for her sketches. Davey is determined to be self-reliant. He doesn’t want anyone doing anything for him. He wants the kids to see what he can do. When he has difficulty playing kickball and still refuses help, the kids are frustrated. But together they begin to observe Davey, recognize what he can do, and figure out how to help him in an unusual and respectful way.
Resources: Click on Reach and Teach for special classroom activities designed especially to go with Keep Your Ear on the Ball. There is more information about the real Davey.
To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books. Or click on the Perfect Picture Book Fridays badge in the right sidebar.
Just a reminder for May 7: I will be interviewing NYT bestselling author Kristin Hannah about her new book Home Front. There will be a book giveaway. Her interview will launch my focus on Military Families in May.