ICv2 Stars: 3.5 (out of 5)
Posted by Nick Smith on April 25, 2016 @ 1:19 am CT
Release Date: May 2016
Author: John Steven Gurney
Format: 56 pgs., Full-Color, 6" x 9", Trade Paperback
Age Rating: All Ages
ICv2 Rating: 3.5 Stars out of 5
This is a cute story about baseball, animals and confidence. The baseball story is about an underdog team that never beats its arch rivals, and the confidence part of the tale is the journey of the team’s biggest [and quite small] fan who eventually becomes the hero of the team. The animal part involves some really terrible animal pun versions of the names of famous baseball players, along with both teams being made up of animal characters. Kids probably won't get some of the jokes, like Larry Boa, Sandy Kofox and Pony Perez, and will be puzzled when their parents laugh at completely different parts of the story than the ones that the kids are finding funny.
The artwork is very good, but the story is not anything special. It's good, it's readable, and it's very predictable. Still, kids who want a feel-good story about underdogs will find it to be an enjoyable read.
The format is a blend of graphic novel and picture book, and may be confusing to parents in terms of what age it is written for. Consider it a picture book for kids who can read on their own, and it will find an audience.
The creator, who is the illustrator of the A to Z mysteries, has created a story which is a lot of fun, and a good starting point for something even better next time.
--Nick Smith: Library Technician, Community Services, for the Pasadena Public Library in California.