HOW BASEBALL WORKS

Biting off far more than she can chew, Thomas crams mini-disquisitions on baseball’s history, gear, play, rules, strategies, physics, statistics, jargon, stars, stadiums, and more into arrays of variously sized and colored boxes, supported by a mix of unevenly informative photos and cartoons. Though language and visuals are carefully nonsexist, the resulting barrage of superficial information not only occasionally swerves into misinformation—fastballs do not “shoot toward home plate in a straight line”—but leaves a few bases uncovered too, such as the ins and outs of pinch-hitting, the screwball pitch, the Hall of Fame, and the role of the Closer. Thomas supplies no sources for further information, and doesn’t carry her tale beyond the 2002 season. Young fans won’t encounter much here that they don’t already know; non-fans will simply be bewildered. (Nonfiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: April 1, 2004

ISBN: 1-894379-60-8

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Firefly

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2004

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DORY STORY

Who is next in the ocean food chain? Pallotta has a surprising answer in this picture book glimpse of one curious boy. Danny, fascinated by plankton, takes his dory and rows out into the ocean, where he sees shrimp eating those plankton, fish sand eels eating shrimp, mackerel eating fish sand eels, bluefish chasing mackerel, tuna after bluefish, and killer whales after tuna. When an enormous humpbacked whale arrives on the scene, Danny’s dory tips over and he has to swim for a large rock or become—he worries’someone’s lunch. Surreal acrylic illustrations in vivid blues and red extend the story of a small boy, a small boat, and a vast ocean, in which the laws of the food chain are paramount. That the boy has been bathtub-bound during this entire imaginative foray doesn’t diminish the suspense, and the facts Pallotta presents are solidly researched. A charming fish tale about the one—the boy—that got away. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-88106-075-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2000

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THE PUMPKIN BOOK

The Pumpkin Book (32 pp.; $16.95; Sept. 15; 0-8234-1465-5): From seed to vine and blossom to table, Gibbons traces the growth cycle of everyone’s favorite autumn symbol—the pumpkin. Meticulous drawings detail the transformation of tiny seeds to the colorful gourds that appear at roadside stands and stores in the fall. Directions for planting a pumpkin patch, carving a jack-o’-lantern, and drying the seeds give young gardeners the instructions they need to grow and enjoy their own golden globes. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 1999

ISBN: 0-8234-1465-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1999

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