Overview

The Animals and Birds are getting ready for the big game. Bat wants to win win win—which team will he play on? The Animals look strong and fast, so Bat picks that side. A bat has fur and teeth, after all. But when the Animals fall behind, Bat switches to the Bird team—doesn’t a bat have wings? Maybe the Birds will win! Silly Bat learns a lesson about team spirit in this lively tale retold by renowned storyteller Margaret Read MacDonald. Artist Eugenia Nobati’s animals add plenty of style and ...
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Overview

The Animals and Birds are getting ready for the big game. Bat wants to win win win—which team will he play on? The Animals look strong and fast, so Bat picks that side. A bat has fur and teeth, after all. But when the Animals fall behind, Bat switches to the Bird team—doesn’t a bat have wings? Maybe the Birds will win! Silly Bat learns a lesson about team spirit in this lively tale retold by renowned storyteller Margaret Read MacDonald. Artist Eugenia Nobati’s animals add plenty of style and fun.“Stylized but easily identifiable, the rubber-limbed animals in Nobati’s digitally generated illustrations sport team jerseys and dash energetically about a rustic pitch, showing a visual energy that reflects the author’s characteristically quick-cadenced telling.” —Kirkus Reviews “The text incorporates font and punctuation cues to inspire lively read-alouds, and the colorful, stylized digital illustrations feature animated soccer action and comical characters. Kids will find Bat’s escapades entertaining, and they may also appreciate the lessons in loyalty and sportsmanship.” —Booklist “A note provides a brief history of this tale-type, noting it originated with Aesop with versions found in many cultures including Native American and Japanese. This is an engaging variation on its own, with opportunity for discussion on philosophical and biological levels.” Library Media Connection “The text is compact and has an innate rhythm characteristic of a veteran storyteller.” —School Library Journal Margaret Read MacDonald loves folktales and travels the world telling wonderful stories and teaching others how to share them. How Many Donkeys? An Arabic Counting Tale won the Best Foreign Children’s Book Award at the 2010 Sharjah International Book Fair. She lives in Washington. Eugenia Nobati was born in the beautiful city of Buenos Aires, in Argentina, where she still lives today with her family and her two naughty cats. She attended the University of Buenos Aires and began illustrating shortly after. Books are her passion; she loves to illustrate them and read them. She always starts working on a book sitting at her drawing table, with her cat in her lap. Her illustrations are done in traditional painting as well as on the computer. Bat’s Big Game was created on the computer. Eugenia thought it was especially fun to illustrate the mischievous animals playing soccer in this story because soccer is such a popular sport in Argentina.  
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Susan Borges
Through the use of a popular sport and appealing animal characters, this simplified retelling of a classic Aesop's tale teaches a lesson about team spirit, loyalty and friendship. The Animals and Birds decide to play a competitive game of soccer, and both teams design T-shirts to prepare for the big game. The Birds' T-shirts are orange with a big white B and the Animals' T-shirts are blue with a big white B. Bat, who wants to play on the winning team, switches from team to team throughout the game and is finally told that he can not play at all because, as Bear says, "good players stick with their team even when they are losing." This is a wonderful book with a special message and illustrations that are lively, expressive and unique. Young readers will learn about characteristics of animals as well as birds as they read about how Bat classifies himself as a bird to be on the birds' team and then as an animal to be on the animals' team. Young readers will enjoy this delightful animal story about soccer, loyalty and sportsmanship, and they will enjoy reading this book with or without an adult reading partner. This appealing book will be treasured by young readers, and it will be a wonderful addition to any primary-grade classroom library collection. Reviewer: Susan Borges
School Library Journal

K-Gr 3- In this retelling of a traditional fable, Bat cannot decide whether he wants to be on the Animals' or the Birds' soccer team. At first he chooses the Animals, but when they start to fall behind, he switches to the Birds. When they start to lose, he tries to switch back. The Animals find his lack of loyalty distasteful and eject him from the game. The text is compact and has an innate rhythm characteristic of a veteran storyteller. Nobati's full-page, digitally created color illustrations are highly stylized. Readers must look carefully at some of the players to try to decide what kind of animal they are. Despite this, the pictures are full of action and re-create the mood of a heated soccer game.-Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT

Kirkus Reviews
When the Animals and the Birds square off for a soccer match, Bat decides that he wants to be on the winning side. But which one is that? The Animals look bigger and stronger, so Bat, showing off his teeth and fur, throws in his lot with them at first-but then switches when the Birds take over the lead. When the score changes again he tries to switch back, and gets thrown off both teams because "a good player sticks with the team . . . even when they are losing." Off goes Bat to practice by himself, and to reflect on his values. Stylized but easily identifiable, the rubber-limbed animals in Nobati's digitally generated illustrations sport team jerseys and dash energetically about a rustic pitch, showing a visual energy that reflects the author's characteristically quick-cadenced telling. Joseph Bruchac's Native American rendition, The Great Ball Game (1994), illustrated by Susan L. Roth, is the best known version of this tale, but MacDonald's reworking is substantially different and based on antecedents from several continents and traditions. (source note) (Picture book/folktale. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781480492578
  • Publisher: Whitman, Albert & Company
  • Publication date: 3/18/2014
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: NOOK Kids
  • Edition description: Digital Original
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • File size: 10 MB

Meet the Author

Margaret Read MacDonald loves folktales and travels the world telling wonderful stories and teaching others how to share them. How Many Donkeys? An Arabic Counting Tale won the Best Foreign Children’s Book Award at the 2010 Sharjah International Book Fair. She lives in Washington. Eugenia Nobati was born in the beautiful city of Buenos Aires, in Argentina, where she still lives today with her family and her two naughty cats. She attended the University of Buenos Aires and began illustrating shortly after. Books are her passion; she loves to illustrate them and read them. She always starts working on a book sitting at her drawing table, with her cat in her lap. Her illustrations are done in traditional painting as well as on the computer. Bat’s Big Game was created on the computer. Eugenia thought it was especially fun to illustrate the mischievous animals playing soccer in this story because soccer is such a popular sport in Argentina. 
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