Bats at the Ballgame

PreS-Gr 3—Author/illustrator Brian Lies scores a baseball triple when he narrates his third book (Houghton Mifflin, 2010) featuring bats. This one is set at a thrilling evening ballgame. With rhyming verse and delightful puns, Lies creates a complete picture of what it would be like if bats played baseball—from the American flag being flown in for the National Anthem to vendors who hawk "moth dogs" and "Cricket Jack" to a grounds crew that marks baselines with powdered sugar and rakes with forks. His beautifully detailed, brilliantly colored, and wonderfully imaginative acrylic illustrations are enlivened by the music of Max Coyote Nova, the occasional voice of an announcer, reactions from the crowd, and the crack of the bat. When the home team and its fans fly out to the carnival tent to meet the rivals who have beaten them every time, spirits are high. However, inning after inning of disappointing plays make the crowd anxious. Old-timers reminisce, with images that flicker slightly, creating the effect of an old movie. The video takes us upside down and back again, as it recreates the view that the bats would have, just as the author intended. In a bonus feature, Lies tells of the pun that inspired this book, and of his desire to spark the imaginations of the audience. While baseball fans will delight in some of the references, everyone will appreciate the clever puns, the plays on words, and the amazing attention to detail that bring this ballgame to life.—MaryAnn Karre, Horace Mann Elementary School, Binghamton, NY

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing