Children learn and discover the world through playing. How nice is it to have a ball: it can roll and bounce, one can throw it or play soccer. A ball helps the child to develop co-ordination and skill in body movement.
Lucia has a red ball and loves to play with it. She puts it on the wall of the terrace and gives it a push. Something Lucia didn’t expect happens: the ball bounces off the wall and assumes a life of its own. It bounces down the steps, becoming smaller and smaller. Because Lucia is a young child she can’t run after her toy, and thus experiences a feeling of loss.
On the steps of the stairs are different animals: a small snake, a cat, and a dog. Looking at the illustrations the young reader gets an understanding of how animals behave. They simply can’t catch the ball, so it ends up on the waves of the ocean. Even the colourful fish can’t do anything to help.
Luckily, Lucia’s father is out on the water on his boat. He has a net to catch the ball and returns the favourite toy to his daughter. Because Lucia has gone through a range of emotions throughout the story, she is able to think of how she can avoid a similar experience in the future.