A GIRL NAMED DAN

A girl named Dandi daydreams about baseball and loves to play. She even submits a 50-word essay to the Kansas City A’s on why she wants to be a batboy, signing it “Dan.” Although she wins, she can’t accept, because—like Little League at the time (1961)—girls are not allowed. In her disappointment, she takes out her frustration by forcing herself into the boys’ game and hitting a home run—and by switching her allegiance to the Cardinals. Dandi narrates her own tale, spinning out her grasp of the game with sprinkles of baseball lingo. Graef’s static images set in flat landscapes and interiors do nothing to enliven the prosaic text: Dandi’s pigtails seem stolid even when flying in the wind. A note on the flap states that the story comes from the author’s own attempt to win the batboy contest, but this tie to reality doesn’t make up for the lack of spirit and energy. (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: May 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-1-58536-351-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2008

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

DAVID GOES TO SCHOOL

The poster boy for relentless mischief-makers everywhere, first encountered in No, David! (1998), gives his weary mother a rest by going to school. Naturally, he’s tardy, and that’s but the first in a long string of offenses—“Sit down, David! Keep your hands to yourself! PAY ATTENTION!”—that culminates in an afterschool stint. Children will, of course, recognize every line of the text and every one of David’s moves, and although he doesn’t exhibit the larger- than-life quality that made him a tall-tale anti-hero in his first appearance, his round-headed, gap-toothed enthusiasm is still endearing. For all his disruptive behavior, he shows not a trace of malice, and it’ll be easy for readers to want to encourage his further exploits. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-590-48087-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1999

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

THE RECESS QUEEN

Positing that bullies only act that way because they’re lonely, O’Neill (Loud Emily, 1998) puts seemingly meek, new classmate Katie Sue up against aggressive Mean Jean, swaggering boss of the playground. Knowing but one way to deal with challengers (“she’d push ’em and smoosh ’em, / lollapaloosh ’em, / hammer ’em, slammer ’em, / kitz and kajammer ’em . . .”), Mean Jean roughly tries to set Katie Sue straight on the pecking order. But Katie Sue stands up to her with a cheeky, “How DID you get to be so bossy?” and pulls out a jump rope, inviting Mean Jean to jump along. Presto change-o, a friendship is born. Huliska-Beith’s (The Book of Bad Ideas, 2000, etc.) rubbery-limbed figures, rolling perspectives, and neon-bright colors reflect the text’s informality as well as its frenzied energy. Though the suggested strategy works far more easily here than it would in real life, young readers will be caught up by Katie Sue’s engaging, fizzy exuberance. (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-439-20637-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2001

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more