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PETE THE CAT: PLAY BALL! by James Dean

PETE THE CAT: PLAY BALL!

From the I Can Read! series

By James Dean (Author) , James Dean (Illustrator)

Age Range: 3 - 5

Pub Date: March 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-06-211067-1
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Ultracool Pete the Cat turns his attention to baseball.

Pete’s team, the Rocks, is playing the Rolls. Pete is every measure of a good sport as he encourages his teammates. He isn’t, however, a skilled player. He strikes out and drops a fly ball, and though he reaches first base on a walk and runs as fast as he can, he is thrown out at home plate. “Pete is not sad, He did his best.” After all, his team won, and he had fun. It could be a great antidote to Little League pressure to be number one at all costs. But there is something off-putting about the tone, for there appears to be a lack of any real involvement in Pete’s cool, calm manner, and the repeated insistence that he is unaffected by his performance feels robotic. Does he love the game or intend to improve? Instead, the baseball game seems just another setting for Pete to demonstrate his cool. Cartoons nicely complement the text, but here too, no change of expression is apparent on Pete’s countenance, nor on any of the players’. The early-reader format is new to this series and hasn’t the lilt of Dean’s earlier works, so this might not be the way to expand the franchise.

No home run here. (Early reader. 3-5)