Even for an elephant, Mort has too much on his plate. Kraus's pachyderm loves playing sports—all sorts of sports—and
his father is there to urge him on. His mother would like him to play the violin as well, to broaden his cultural horizons. Since
Mort is a sport, he agrees to his mother's fancy. Practicing the violin and pursuing sports is logistically demanding, yet there
is Mort sawing away at the violin while awaiting his turn at bat. All of this is fine until an overtaxed Mort starts to draw his
bow across his bat and take cuts at the fastball with his violin. Confusion reigns, Mort's in a dither, and his parents come to
realize that "we're putting too much pressure on Mort." So they ask him, "What do you want to play, baseball or the violin?"
"Chess," he groans. "I want to sit down." Not surprisingly, he fast becomes champion of the world, which is not to say he
wouldn't have excelled at his parents' chosen activities—it’s just nice to know the young sport has a sense of who he is.
Himmelman’s illustrations are full of life and work well with Mort's dizzying predicament to yield a funny, approachable tale
of self-discovery. (Picture book. 4-7)