Batter up, Mr. Putter and Tabby!
With over 20 titles in this venerable series, Rylant and Howard are still able to find ideas that bring not only a chuckle, but a side of confidence to new readers. This time, Mr. Putter realizes that he and Tabby have been napping too much. Though Tabby’s frisky days are over, Mr. Putter still has some energy. Is Mr. Putter too old to play baseball? Heck, no. He finds his mitt, calls up his buddy Mrs. Teaberry and joins a coed team of senior citizens called the Yankee Doodle Dandies. It’s clear from the illustrations that Mr. Putter is not too old for this team! Though he is clad in his trademark blue plaid shirt and straw hat, the others are in their uniforms, plump and unathletic, with oversized ears and beer bellies. Mrs. Teaberry’s dog, Zeke, insists on fielding the ball…and holding it, which allows the opposing team an advantage. From Tabby’s suspicious looks to chubby Zeke diving for the ball to the baseball field filled with elderly, enthusiastic athletes, Howard and Rylant allow young readers to enjoy the game—they’ll wish they had grandfathers just like Mr. Putter.
A home run. (Early reader. 4-8)