Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Dino-Baseball by Lisa Wheeler

 Dino-Baseball by Lisa Wheeler, illustrated by Barry Gott

Rating: 4.5 stars

Of all the baseball books we have in the house right now (14 at the last count), this is Ben's favorite.  Lisa Wheeler was smart to match two things that young boys really love--dinosaurs and baseball--and create a rhyme that captures the excitement of a nail-biter of a baseball game.

The Green Sox and the Rib-Eye Reds battle it out on the baseball diamond, their reptilian bodies funnily shoved into uniforms usually reserved for human players.  Barry Gott does a great job with the illustrations; I especially love how he catches the frustration and excitement (depending which team you're rooting for) of an out.  The illustrations can be a confusing jumble, especially if the gigantic brachiosaurus is involved and spread out on two pages instead of one.  We're never quite sure of his position because he spills out onto the whole field...!

I also like how Wheeler throws in some real aspects of baseball that have been fun to explain to Ben.  On the top of my list is the emphasis on good manners and sportsmanship, or ELSE:
The Green Sox manager's irate,
throws his hat and kicks home plate.
He calls the ump a nasty name
and gets ejected from the game.
Yup, without any warnings!  That's real life for you, I told Ben.  Good manners or you can't play!  Other little things include fun baseball slang and traditions--"good-bye ball" for home run, the seventh-inning stretch hot dog run...things like that.

I've read this book twice daily for the past three days, and it is going into Ben's baseball-themed backpack to share with his class after I click "Publish" on this blog post,'s a hit!

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