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THE BASKET BALL by Esmé Raji Codell


by Esmé Raji Codell & illustrated by Jennifer Plecas

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4197-0007-1
Publisher: Abrams

Girl power on the b-ball court.

Lulu is what you might call a girly-girl. You know—complete with tea sets, stuffed animals, makeup and unicorn pictures on her bedroom wall. But there’s something else about Lulu: Her absolute most favorite thing to do is shoot hoops. Unfortunately, in Lulu’s world, basketball is for boys, and they will not allow Lulu to play on their team. Whenever she asked, “ ‘Girls cannot play, the guard would say, / Asserting his offensive. / ‘We’d knock you down, and doctor’s bills / Are dreadfully expensive.’ ” Undaunted, Lulu decides to create her own team, sending out invitations to girls far and wide for an event she terms the “Basket Ball.” Girls bound in from around the globe and astound Lulu with their basketball skills. The girls decide to form a league and appoint Lulu captain of one of the teams. The lively illustrations, done in ink, watercolor and gouache on watercolor paper, showcase an ethnically diverse group of strong, active girls who, sporting purses, dresses and jewelry, are clearly still girly-girls too.

Any girl who has ever been rejected from a boys’ game will identify with this story, but with the growing popularity and availability of girls’ sports, one hopes she won’t have to go to the lengths Lulu did to find a league of her own. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-8)