From School Library Journal
Grade 2-4AA catchy title and attractive cover will grab the attention of readers; however, once this book is opened, confusion begins. Hank takes a group of children on a tour through a baseball and bat factory. Although there is ample information about how this equipment is made, the format is cluttered and the writing is sometimes awkward. The main text, written as dialogue, is outlined in blue. Sidebars enclosed in geometric shapes provide additional details, ranging from background information about the equipment to unimportant trivia. The children in the cartoon illustrations use dialogue bubbles to make comments that are sometimes relevant to the topic, and other times just silly or distracting. Double-page spreads about "Bats & Batting" and "Balls & Pitching" provide a smattering of baseball facts and interrupt the narrative flow. Jan Arnow's Louisville Slugger (Pantheon, 1984; o.p.) and William Jaspersohn's Bat, Ball, Glove (Little, Brown, 1989; o.p.) are better books on the topic.ABarb Lawler, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
In a format that echoes that of the Magic Schoolbus titles, Thomson (City Kids in China, 1991, etc.) takes readers behind the scenes at the manufacturer of baseball bats and balls. In the context of a factory tour given to a group of children and a dog, all of whom comment as they go along, author and illustrator limn the materials and the steps involved in making wooden bats, aluminum bats, and hardballs. They also include bits of baseball trivia and lore, a smattering of history (not only when the game became open to African-Americans, but also when the little leagues became open to girls), and some terminology. For young sports enthusiasts, this is an engrossing glimpse at a side of the game to which they may not have given much thought. The pictures, though a bit wooden, are perfectly serviceable and clear, rounding out this pleasant survey of an interesting subject. (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-11) -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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