Alex and Homer live, breathe and dream baseball. But this is Homer’s story.
There’s a big game tonight, one that will decide the league champion. Homer’s team is down by three runs in the bottom of the ninth. Some nice hitting loads the bases, and needless to say Homer hits a grand slam. It’s just a typical baseball tale. But the teams are the Hounds and the Doggers, and all the players are dogs of many breeds, as are the umpires, spectators and the announcer. The story is told with the briefest of simple phrases and sentences, some in speech or thought bubbles, and illustrated with double-page spreads and album-like panels of digitally collaged photographs. The format is everything here. The digital art supplies the uniforms, banners and other odds and ends, while the dogs have been photographed in myriad head poses and body positions. A few might have been digitally enhanced, but if so, they are seamless. Young readers will surely giggle at puns like, “It’s going to be a ruff game!” There’s also a distracting squirrel and a well-placed fire hydrant. Alex wakes to find Homer in his usual place, but there’s an autographed ball on the rug…. Even the endpapers are part of the fun, taking the form of doggie baseball cards.
A howlingly good time. (Picture book. 4-8)