Reviews for Play Ball!

Booklist Reviews 2013 July #1
Dean's stoic Pete the Cat heads to the ballpark and does what he does best: react placidly. It's the Rocks (the cats in red) versus the Rolls (yellow), and no matter how often Pete screws up--and it's pretty often, as he strikes out, drops a catch, and overthrows--he reacts in the exactly same way: "But Pete is not sad. He did his best." Again, much of Pete's humor comes from Dean's depiction of him as a dour, sleepy-looking fellow regardless of the emotions the text insists that he's feeling. The purposely flat, simple watercolors further this low-key, cool-cat offering. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall
Pete the Cat makes a towering sandwich, which he shares with friends; he plays baseball and strikes out, but has fun regardless ("He is not sad. He did his best"). Neither easy-to-read story is all that compelling, but Lunch is more entertaining than Ball, which reads like instructions for good sportsmanship. The colorful, stylized illustrations lend both books a lighthearted tone. [Review covers these Pete the Cat titles: Play Ball! and Pete's Big Lunch[c1].]

Kirkus Reviews 2013 March #1
Ultracool Pete the Cat turns his attention to baseball. Pete's team, the Rocks, is playing the Rolls. Pete is every measure of a good sport as he encourages his teammates. He isn't, however, a skilled player. He strikes out and drops a fly ball, and though he reaches first base on a walk and runs as fast as he can, he is thrown out at home plate. "Pete is not sad, He did his best." After all, his team won, and he had fun. It could be a great antidote to Little League pressure to be number one at all costs. But there is something off-putting about the tone, for there appears to be a lack of any real involvement in Pete's cool, calm manner, and the repeated insistence that he is unaffected by his performance feels robotic. Does he love the game or intend to improve? Instead, the baseball game seems just another setting for Pete to demonstrate his cool. Cartoons nicely complement the text, but here too, no change of expression is apparent on Pete's countenance, nor on any of the players'. The early-reader format is new to this series and hasn't the lilt of Dean's earlier works, so this might not be the way to expand the franchise. No home run here. (Early reader. 3-5) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2013 July

PreS-Gr 2-- In Big Lunch, Pete decides to make a sandwich. Of course, the more he adds, the bigger it becomes. This is a good thing because he is really, really hungry. He forgets to remove the wrappers and adds cans, jars, and boxes to the ever-teetering tower of items. As he piles on the food, children's giggles will grow right along with the expanding "sandwich." Once it becomes too big for the small cat to consume, he must think of a clever solution to his dilemma, which he does with a little help from his friends. In Play Ball!, Pete is baseball ready and his team, the Rocks, are facing the Rolls in a big game. The players warm up and, when the game is over, both sides greet one another with high fives. Even though Pete does not play his best game, he has a good attitude about making mistakes and not being sad about errors he made. This is a great title to spark a discussion about sportsmanship. In both books, simple cartoon art in bold colors and large text make the books a treat for beginning readers.--Janene Corbin, Rosebank Elementary School, Nashville, TN

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