It’s been few years since we’ve had the pleasure of reviewing a book by Julia Dweck, so this post has brought great anticipation to my children. Julia’s just released Woodville Tails: Boomer At The Bat and it’s the perfect summer read for young children.
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Like previous books written by Julia Dweck, this one is written in a rhyming prose that really works in this book. It adds extra excitement to the story; anticipation, excitement, and fun, the perfect ingredients when talking baseball. Baseball stories told through rhyme have been around for over a century, and Tristan’s favourite summer baseball story is told in this way, so I knew he’d enjoy hearing about the Woodville Timbers and the Critter Crew.
This story has been beautifully illustrated by Chris Kennett who has given the characters all wonderful expressions and energy.
When we were first introduced to Julia’s books, I was the one doing the reading before handing it off to Tristan. These days, the children are both proficient readers and as I sit here at the library, they are signing up to the Summer Reading Challenge.
I love to listen to my children read, and they can really get into the emotions and nuances of the text when they are reading aloud. Choosing books that my children have enjoyed over the years and exposing them to a wide range of styles and topics has given them a real love of reading. And of course, all of the fun activities we have done with books over the years hasn’t hurt either, thanks, Julia!
The descriptions in Boomer At The Bat really take me back to my childhood at school when we would play baseball several times a week during the month of June:
And from this dusty hollow it all seemed as sure as that.
A homer would be easy now with Boomer at the bat.
Now Hardy spit upon the ball a coat of secret sauce,
And hopes were high among the fans set ready for the toss.
Yes, dusty summer days on the prairies, little critters flying in the outfields and crawling along the baselines. Thankfully ‘secret sauce’ wasn’t allowed at school!
Boomer has some trouble at the bat and he doesn’t like that. But wait……there’s hope, have they won?
The unfortunate answer is no…and Boomer isn’t happy about that. Thankfully, Boomer has a supporter in Coach Wuzzle who teaches Boomer about good sportsmanship and tells him that the only thing that matters is if he played his best. Be happy for the opposing team, as that’s an important part of playing a sport.
Tristan and Kallista have been taking Ju-Jitsu lessons since the start of the year. They spar against each other in class; but they also give each other encouragement and help in a way they don’t do at home. Sport is a great way for children to learn how to be a part of something bigger; to try their best, and to know that everyone has different skill levels but they can work together. And you won’t always win, and that’s okay, too. After all, a game is just a game, but the friendships made will last much longer.
The score’s been long forgotten but nobody thinks of that.
They all recount the friendships made with Boomer at the bat!
I find that the morals of books often work best when a child can related to it. Being baseball season now, this is a great fit for kids. And it works even better if parents not just cheer for the wining team, but also keep in mind the losing team and point out that they tried hard, they succeeded at xyz, and also remark how they treat the winners by shaking hands, etc.
If you’re a Julia Dweck fan, check out our previous reviews of her books:
- Faux Paw
- Mary Had A Sleepy Sheep
- Blucy The Blue Cat
- Where Are The Dinos?