BAT’S BIG GAME by Margaret Read MacDonald


adapted by & illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 8
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When the Animals and the Birds square off for a soccer match, Bat decides that he wants to be on the winning side. But which one is that? The Animals look bigger and stronger, so Bat, showing off his teeth and fur, throws in his lot with them at first—but then switches when the Birds take over the lead. When the score changes again he tries to switch back, and gets thrown off both teams because “a good player sticks with the team . . . even when they are losing.” Off goes Bat to practice by himself, and to reflect on his values. Stylized but easily identifiable, the rubber-limbed animals in Nobati’s digitally generated illustrations sport team jerseys and dash energetically about a rustic pitch, showing a visual energy that reflects the author’s characteristically quick-cadenced telling. Joseph Bruchac’s Native American rendition, The Great Ball Game (1994), illustrated by Susan L. Roth, is the best known version of this tale, but MacDonald’s reworking is substantially different and based on antecedents from several continents and traditions. (source note) (Picture book/folktale. 6-8)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-8075-0587-8
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Whitman
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2008


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