Jack at Bat

Viking. (A Jack Book). Feb. 2020. 80p. Tr $9.99. ISBN 9780593113820.
K-Gr 2–Jack the rabbit is back, and this time he’s on a baseball team. When The Lady Town Ladies are down by four runs in the last inning, it’s up to Jack to pinch hit and win the game—if he can follow the rules. As in previous installments, Jack’s antics once again cross the line from simple mischief to borderline malice, as he steals snacks and equipment, and refuses to follow instructions. Kids will certainly find these instances hilarious, but some parents may be less than amused. Regardless, the text does a great job repeating sight words and phrases for repetition practice and phonic awareness, and at 80 pages, also gently introduces the idea of chapters and plot points to the very early reader set. Pizzoli’s trademark style is a home run as usual; his simple character design feels childlike and relatable, while his lack of detail and background keeps the focus on the story and developing reading skills.
VERDICT Great for “Elephant and Piggie” fans.

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