Mom's Big Catch, Sadie's Big Steal a Winning Double-Play

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Mom's Big Catch and Sadie's Big Steal

Whenever I'm offered an opportunity to review children's material, I jump. To be honest, I'm basically a little kid at heart, but that's not the real reason. My 22-month old son, Nate, is the driving force behind reviews like this. I'm so excited to share with him all the things I grew up loving.

Baseball has been one of those passions my entire life, so I'm thrilled to review Marla McKenna's nifty double play of titles. Let me start with Mom's Big Catch from Tate Publishing. It's obvious McKenna understands the game of baseball and the passion we fans feel for our team. Even more, she has chosen to enter the story on an ambition of many denizens of the ballpark--catching a ball!

The story follows Ashley as her family spends the day at the game. There's a really nice family dynamic, and McKenna establishes a lovely voice for the little girl. She also builds a lot of suspense, but I'd imagine the title gives a hint where the story ends up. I must tell you, in 2009 I caught a Johnny Damon foul pop at Citi Field during a Yankees/Mets game. I always bring my glove to the park, and this was the one and only time I needed it. I can still remember the ball coming my way, and then reaching up in the crowd of hands. When I pulled my glove back and checked the pocket...oh the elation! Amazingly, a little over twenty years before, my dad caught a Bobby Thompson home run ball during batting practice at the 1985 Old Timers' Day at Yankee Stadium. Here's hoping my little Nate keeps the tradition alive of bringing a piece of the game home.



Enough about me. Let's get onto McKenna's recently released follow up, Sadie's Big Steal. This one is a direct sequel, except this time we are treated to the story of Ashley's dog, Sadie. It's told in the first person, as Sadie plots to steal, and play with, the ball caught in the previous story. There is also a subplot about a new dog in town who isn't treated right. This story also has some nice themes and should give children something to think about and learn from.

Not only are the stories entertaining, but they both feature vibrant artwork. The art is simple but it enhances the story, and sets the perfect tone for youngsters. What more can you look for in a children's book then a wonderful message, great writing, and cute artwork? I mean, really!

Finally, I want to mention the WorldHeart Foundation. McKenna donates a portion of each book sale to this group that helps rescue dogs find new homes.

These are nifty books that have a strong message. Baseball fan or not, they're perfect for children 4 and up. I know I'll be reading them to Nate soon enough.

3.5 / 5.0