Quacky Baseball

Peter Abrahams, illus. by Frank Morrison, Harper, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-122978-7
It's Opening Day and Thumby, a Butterfinger-orange duckling, is nervous about playing with his team, the Webbies. Abrahams wastes no time, fast-forwarding to the top of the ninth. An unseen announcer offers play-by-play commentary ("Two on, two out for the Quackers. The Webbies need an out!") while onlookers contribute local color. Morrison's charismatic action paintings feature the tenacious ducklings in mid-catch, slide, and pitch. Readers will recognize Thumby by his anxious expression and thumb-sucking, but when "the little rookie from the wrong side of the marsh" swings the bat, he brings it on home. Despite the hasty pace, Morrison's striking visuals, occasional baseball tips, and lively patter dish up a quirky twist on the game. Ages 3–8. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/24/2011
Release date: 02/01/2011
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