Thursday, May 14, 2020

It's How You Play the Game! Pete the Cat--Play Ball! by James Dean

Pete has a mitt. Pete has a bat and ball.

What will Pete do today?

It's Game Day for Pete and his baseball team, appropriately named "The Rocks." They are at their ballpark to play a team called "The Rolls."

Both teams warm up, batting and playing catch, and then it's time for the umpire to shout, " PLAY BALL!"

The Rocks are up first. It's "batter up!" but Pete has to wait for his turn in the batting order, while the lead-off batter takes his turn first.

The first batter gets a hit and runs to first base. He's "safe!" Now Pete cheers:
"Way to go!"

Pete comes up to bat. He swings too low at the first pitch and misses. It's a strike. Pete swings too high at the next ball, but misses again. Pete misses the third pitch, too. He OUT!
But Pete is not sad. He did his BEST!

He watches his friend Ben hit a homerun.
"Way to go!" Pete cheers.

The Rolls come up to bat and Pete and his team take their places in the field. On the first swing, the ball is hit right toward Pete. He gets under the ball and holds up his mitt to catch it.
But Pete drops it.

But Pete tried his best and he is not sad. At his next turn at bat he watches the pitches more carefully. The pitcher throws too high and too low, and Pete gets a walk, going to first base. It's not a hit, but it's still COOL. Now Pete knows he's in position to score a run, and when the next batter hits the ball a long way, he runs as fast as he can around the bases. He's rounding third and heading for home plate, and here comes the fielder's throw....

You win some and you lose some, in James Dean's excellent introduction to baseball for rookie readers, in his I-Can-Readbook, Pete the Cat: Play Ball! (My First I Can Read) (HarperCollins). Everybody is a winner, as Dean not only reinforces the basic rules and skills of the game, but has his main character model the precepts of sportsmanship as well. Pete shows how to support his teammates, respect the officials' calls, do his best, and, most of all, enjoy playing the game. Even with beginning reader basic vocabulary, Dean manages to build some tension into his game play and teaches that, win or lose, it's how you play the old ball game.

And for more Pete the Cat prep on another kind of competition, share this one with James Dean's Pete the Cat and the Supercool Science Fair.

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