Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Tim Egan, illustrated by Tim Egan

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: April 3rd, 2006
ISBN: 0-618-33718-0
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Sam and Jackson love to sit and watch baseball at Grant’s Field. But when Sam, a horse who’s an amazing athlete, makes the local team, Jackson, who is a very slow cat, albeit with a great arm, does not. It isn’t fun for either friend when they’re apart, and Sam hits badly until Jackson starts selling peanuts in the stands. Jackson uses his great arm to pitch peanut bags into the lap of whoever orders them, and Sam plays like a dream. They reach the final game, with the score tied in the bottom of the ninth with a cow on third and Sam at bat, when a request for peanuts a hundred rows away gets Jackson to rise to the occasion—and Sam, too. Gently rounded and anthropomorphized animals populate this tale, and Jackson in particular, with his patient whiskered face, is a charmer. Egan’s ink and watercolors use sculptural forms and an autumnal palette; the stands are full of dogs and pigs and other animal folk in vaguely 19th-century dress. Dead-pan humor with a pitch-perfect aim. (Picture book. 4-8)