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by Lisa Wheeler & illustrated by Barry Gott

Age Range: 5 - 9

Pub Date: March 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-7613-6393-4
Publisher: Carolrhoda

The team that brought us Dino-Baseball, -Soccer and -Hockey (2010, 2009, 2007) this time delivers nothing but net. Once again divided by food preference, the Grassclippers take on the Meat, pitting some of the better-known dinosaurs against each other in a high-stakes game for the championship trophy. Wheeler’s staccato rhyming verse mimics both the play-by-play announcement and the action of a basketball game, making readers feel a part of the excitement. “Allo answers off the dribble. / Diplo takes it up the middle— / —T. rex charges from behind. / Steals the ball. It’s Meaty time!” (Dino and team names are in bold and color-coded: red for carnivores, green for herbivores.)  The off-court goings-on are just as accurately portrayed—cheerleaders, agitated coaches, famous spectators and some typical half-time events. Gott’s vividly colored illustrations are filled with energy—almost like sitting courtside. And just as in real life, observers may lose track of who’s who in the melee, especially if they are not up on their species. Gott does a very good job of matching his artwork to the text, making it relatively easy for those unfamiliar with basketball to guess what “free throw,” “dunk” and “taking it to the hole” might mean. Still, this is not a basketball primer. Likely to be a slam dunk with both basketball and dinosaur fans...and football enthusiasts can look forward to the teams’ next match. (Picture book. 5-9)