Play Ball With Me!
A Joe and Angel Book
Two jack russells
 Written and Illustrated by Anne Meyer

Angel really wants her big brother, Joe, to play with her. But Joe has his own plans.
When Joe won't play with her, Angel is sad.
What do you think Angel will do?
Percie, Emo, and Can-do will help you think about the story. Click on them to get to know them.

2 dogs in bow of boat

Joe and Angel were on their way to play at their favorite place.

Scrunch! The kayak scraped onto the beach. The two dogs jumped onto the sand.

Joe started sniffing around. He wanted to explore. But Angel wanted to play ball!

dog barking, ball in front

"Play ball with me!"

Angel stood still and barked at Joe.

But Joe just ran off down the beach to find
some dogs his own age.

three dogs on beach



Joe found another dog to play with.

Angel watched from a distance.

She could not understand why Joe wouldn't play ball with her.

dog jumping in air after ball
"Joe, don't play with other dogs.
Play ball with me!
Look at me catching!"
Angel showed her best jump.

three images of dog digging



But Joe just dug  a




and sat in it.

small dog biting big dog
"Don't dig a hole!
Play ball with ME!"
Angel ran up to Joe
and gave him a bite.
He'd better play with me now, she thought.

dog up to chest in water
But Joe just splashed into the water
and went for a refreshing swim.
Angel watched him go.
The water was too cold for her!

little dog looking sad with ball
WHAT CAN I DO?  thought Angel.

How can I get my brother  to play with me?
She thought and thought.
I tried barking, I tried showing my jump, I tried biting. And Joe still doesn't want to play ball with me.
Angel felt sad and lonely. She heard the gulls and thought maybe they were crying.

small dog thinking of the big dog

Angel stayed quiet and thought some more.

  Suddenly she had an idea! What does Joe like to do best?  she asked herself.

He likes to play with other dogs. He likes to dig. He likes to swim. Maybe if I start doing his favorite things, he will do my favorite thing with me. He will PLAY BALL WITH ME!

two dogs running away

Angel put her plan right into action!

She knew Joe liked to run so she started running quickly down the beach.

Sure enough, Joe ran after her.

three dogs in shallow water




 They met a lot of other dogs.
They played ball together, Angel's favorite thing...
Joe helped Angel make new friends!

two dogs digging together
Angel started digging.
Joe came right up and dug with her
They dug a great big hole together.
They buried the ball!

two dogs running in the water
Angel headed for the water.
She brought the ball!
Joe raced in right after her!

two dogs pulling on the same ball
 When they came out of the water,
Angel and Joe played tug-of-war
with the ball.

two dogs chasing each other
Angel got the ball and
Joe chased her around in circles
trying to get it back. 

one dog sitting on another in kayak
Finally it was time to go home.
On the way, Joe closed his eyes and snoozed.
 Angel felt excited and proud.
 "I was so sad I almost gave up," she thought. "But I didn't. And I learned to run, dig, swim, and play ball all at the same time!"

two dogs together with ball on beach
Both dogs were already dreaming
about going to the beach tomorrow!

For further reading:

Bengtsson, H. & Johnson, L. (1992). Perspective taking, empathy, and prosocial behavior in late  childhood. Child Study Journal, 22(1), 11-21.

Feffer, M. H., & Gourevitch, V. (1960). Cognitive aspects of role-taking in children. Journal of  Personality, 28(4), 383-396.

Selman, R. L. (1971). Taking another’s perspective: Role-taking development in early childhood.  Child Development, 42(6), 1721-1734.
Selman, R. L. (1971). The relation of role taking to the development of moral judgment in children. Child Development, 42(1), 79-91.

Special Thanks to Gabrielle Schlichtmann for her help in conceptualizing this story and providing relevant background research.

Thank you to the Bookbuilder team for feedback and encouragement on this story!