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Pamela Brill

Slapstick Baseball: Who’s on First?

February 19, 2013

Spring training is well underway, and myriads of baseball fans are snatching up season tickets in anticipation of Opening Day. As all this snow slowly melts away and thoughts turn to warmer days, it's only natural that kids will want to grab their mitts and throw the ball around with Dear Old Dad. Just because my baseball enthusiasm is limited to catching an occasional game on TV (more when my dad was alive) doesn't mean I don't enjoy the peanuts and crackerjacks part of the experience (wink, wink). But for those of you bona fide baseball fans who'll go to the ends of the earth (or so it seems) to defend your home team's honor, comes a delightful new picture book that will resonate with both the seasoned pros and the novice pinch hitters. Who's on First? takes the witty comedic shtick of Abbott & Costello and brands it for a new generation. No matter whether you know your outfield from your flyball, you'll undoubtedly understand the humor of this hilarious duo immortalized on the printed page-and in color, no less. I remember my own dad introducing me to their wacky routine, and wondering why he found it so funny, he could barely get through their dialog without cracking up. Now as a parent myself, and one who has come to fully understand (and appreciate) word play, it gives me great pleasure to share this timeless exchange with my own kids. Set within a baseball theme, this story stars a new player named Abbott (played by a rabbit) who is coached by Costello (as a bear) about the ins and outs of the game...and therein the humor lies. You truly won't be able to get past the first few pages without seeing your child go from confused to amused. This easy-to-read format makes the comedy more accessible, and puts a fresh spin on a classic set-up. Baseball lover or not, Who's on First? hits a home run with readers young and old.

In a Nutshell: A laugh-out-load read, this book of baseball banter knocks one right out of the park.

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