“Hit the Ball Duck” by Jez Alborough

Today’s book is about baseball. Not because I am a big fan or  I know so much about it.  I guess I haven’t lived in the US long enough,  to develop enough appreciation for the game. Or at least some basic understanding of the rules. But I think baseball is a good sport to start with, considering the popularity of the bat on this side of the Atlantic and the sheer number of  aspiring T-ball, softball and baseball teams across the country.  Besides, my son, just like many little boys, loves playing catch with his dad. And last but not least, Jez Alborough wrote a cute picture book about it, so why not?

Duck, Sheep, Goat and Frog go to the park to play some baseball. Duck bats first, but who will catch the ball? According to the  big guys, definitely not Frog. He is too small. As Duck hits the ball, it lands on a tree. The smart trio tries to get the ball back with the bat, but it gets stuck like the ball. The same happens with the glove. Finally they try to hop on one another’s shoulders to reach the ball, but the tower is not tall enough. Luckily, Frog hops on top and gets the ball back. 

Now who is too small to catch the ball, huh?

As always with Jez Alborough’s stories, “Hit the Ball Duck” means great, entertaining read: catchy rhymes, curious characters and bright pictures. But next to humor, the story sends an important message to children: everyone, big or small can be a valuable member of a baseball team. Any team actually.

So, if your children are more on a petite size and their size holds them back from playing baseball, you should definitely read this book to them. And if your child is one of the bigger guys, who tend to underrate their smaller friends’ potential and contribution on a team, they should read this book as well. In other words, it’s a perfect story for everyone.

And  although baseball might not be thee sport for everybody, it is a great discipline to practice hand and eye coordination, enhance reflexes and if your child hits a home run, they even get to run about a bit during the game.

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