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Who's on First?

Who's on First?

5.0 1
by Bud Abbott

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“Who’s on first. What’s on second. I Don’t Know’s on third.” One of the classic comedy sketches of all time is now transformed into a priceless picture book—and it’s a great read for kids of all ages. Follow the mistaken identities, confusion, and lots of laughs as Rabbit and Bear act out this scene. The book will appeal


“Who’s on first. What’s on second. I Don’t Know’s on third.” One of the classic comedy sketches of all time is now transformed into a priceless picture book—and it’s a great read for kids of all ages. Follow the mistaken identities, confusion, and lots of laughs as Rabbit and Bear act out this scene. The book will appeal to Abbott and Costello fans, baseball fans, and anyone who enjoys funny banter-driven picture books. Illustrated in full color with slightly retro stylized illustrations.

“The book is stunning ~ dad and Bud would be proud!!”—Chris Costello, Daughter of Lou Costello

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Martz’s clever graphics make the premise clear to the youngest readers...Parents can now introduce the routine earlier than has been traditional for young fans and, as we all know, participating in tradition is the essence of the love of baseball.”—Newsday 

“...miscommunications have never been so much fun.”—USA Today, 3 out of 4 stars

Who's on First? by Abbott and Costello presents the print version of the duo's hilarious skit, guaranteed to make you laugh.”–Sacramento Bee

“...delightfully illustrated...If you have children who enjoy baseball or softball, this is a perfect complement to their personal library.”—Wired’s Geek Mom

“Martz' version of the story, which stars a rabbit and a bear, has all the goofy humor of the original sketch.”—Boing Boing
“A laugh-out-load read, this book of baseball banter knocks one right out of the park.”The Talking Walnut

“…cannot stop smiling…[this] delightfully illustrated take on the classic comedy skit by Abbott and Costello is for the young . . . and young-at-heart.”—Examiner.com

Who’s on First? is a delightfully funny book with illustrations that bring the routine onto a new platform that even the youngest fan will understand and enjoy.”—Kid Lit Reviews

“Your totz will be instant fans.”—Reader Totz
“…this book’s a hit with me”—Ronna Mandel, Good Reads with Ronna
“A very funny read…”—Fiction State of Mind
“My twelve-year-old thinks both the words and the pictures are very funny and laughed out loud reading it.”—City Book Review
[We] had a blast reading the book…[and] John Martzpresents delightful illustrations that just ‘pop off’ the page.”—Hudson Valley Parent
“If the antics of Abbott and Costello made generations of adults double over with laughter, imagine how much kids will love it when this tale is acted out from the point of view of a rabbit and a bear.  The giggles will be nonstop!  Martz gives his characters all the visual slapstick cues and verbal antics of this Abbott and Costello classic, and brings their brand of comedy to full life for a new generation.  This book is a fantastic introduction to classic American humor.”—Mollie Sultenfuss, Pages Books & Coffee, Newton, KS 

“...be prepared to turn the pages—fast.”—Publishers Weekly

School Library Journal
K-Gr 4—Abbott and Costello's beloved comedy routine receives a picture-book treatment, complete with comical illustrations. A tall brown bear plays the coach (Abbott), a chubby white bunny plays the catcher (Costello), and they go back and forth about the oddly named members of their baseball team. "Who's on first. What's on second. I Don't Know's on third." Martz's expressive characters cavort on backgrounds that pop with appealing color. Clever page formatting conveys the pacing that is such an integral part of the laughs. At bottom, though, "Who's on First?" is about auditory humor, so the translation to a visual medium, while it may illuminate the jokes for kids, can't quite capture the magic of the original. Historical notes about the comedians and their routine appear at the end of the book.—Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Carroll County Public Library, MD
Kirkus Reviews
One of the funniest comedy routines ever to be heard doesn't successfully translate to print although nearly every word is intact. Abbott appears as a red-nosed bear, and Costello is a hapless rabbit, with both creatures dressed in striped shirts and red baseball caps. The dialogue is variously presented in word bubbles, boxes or "shouted" in explosive, full-page format, with all the text in sizes appropriate to the characters' levels of frustration. Superbright green, yellow, red and blue backgrounds make it all pop. But in book form, the dialogue comes off as merely amusing rather than laugh-out-loud funny, partly since in its original form it was completely auditory. The two men delivered the lines in fast-paced, smartly timed patter with voice inflections indicating annoyance, anger, impatience or resignation. The fun was in the misunderstanding of the wordplay. While Martz's cartoon animals indicate their emotions in their body language and facial expressions, it's just a little flat. In addition, depicting each player as an animal (Who is a snake, What is a dog, etc.) makes it possible for readers to actually visualize a "real" team and diminishes the wordplay. To work at all, it must be read aloud in two distinct, enthusiastic voices so young readers can share the experience. Not up to the original--leave it on the shelf and find a recording of the real Abbott and Costello. (afterword, biographical notes) (Picture book. 7-10)

Product Details

Quirk Publishing
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
11.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.60(d)
AD60L (what's this?)
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
“...be prepared to turn the pages—fast.”—Publishers Weekly

Meet the Author

WILLIAM “BUD” ABBOTT and LOU COSTELLO are among the most famous duos in entertainment history. Together they starred in 36 films and made countless appearances on television and radio. In 1956, they were inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York. In 1999, Time magazine named “Who’s on First?” the best comedy sketch of the 20th century.
JOHN MARTZ is a cartoonist and illustrator who lives in Toronto with his wife and dog. John loves cartoons, comics, and comedy and grew up watching Abbott and Costello movies. He listened to “Who’s on First?” so many times as a kid that he had it memorized.

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Who's on First? 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
bought this book for my husbands birthday and both he and the kids loved it. went back to get another for a friend who is a big baseball fan and store was sold out. It helped me introduce my kids to the great comics of the past. Drawings were very cute I think that was the best part for my daughter.