Far Out! Strike Three, Marley! by Ellen Beier and John Grogan
It was spring, and Cassie was going to her first baseball game.
"Come on, Marley!" said Daddy. "You can come, too!"
Daddy told Cassie the rules.
"If the batter misses the ball, it's called a strike. Three strikes and you're out."
Daddy looked around at Marley. "Your rules are simple," he told him.
"SIT. STAY. GOT IT?"
"RUFFFF!" Marley barked.
Gradually Cassie gets the hang of the rules of baseball and into the spirit of the game. Although he gets his rules, though, Marley finds it hard to stay with them. When a batter finally makes contact with the ball and hits it into the outfield, Marley has had enough of his rules.
"They're playing FETCH! That's my favorite game!" thought Marley. I want to play, too."
But when Marley joins the game, it's time out for the giggling players. Marley fields the ball and starts back toward the diamond, stopping to pick up second base, have a tug of war over a bat, "steal' home plate, and find a nice strip of conveniently soft, fresh dirt around the plate in which to bury the ball.
The pitcher laughed. "Sometimes I want to bury the ball, too."
Even the umpire forgets to call a foul when Marley sits down and offers him his paw. It's not exactly what Cassie expected from her first baseball game, but it surely is exciting!
"We're glad you're on OUR team, Marley," says Cassie.
There's never a dull moment when Marley is on your team, and in Marley: Strike Three, Marley! (I Can Read Book 2) (Harper, 2010) Marley is back on Harper's all-star I-Can-Read team, with a baseball story that will help keep beginning readers' scores in the educational big leagues. With an easy format, giggles and chuckles, oodles of pictures of the precocious pup Marley by illustrator Ellen Beier, and baseball-related vocabulary in Susan Hill's text, rookie readers are all set for their first season with the famous all-star and best-selling Marley.