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“At the bottom of the ninth, the Doggers are down 3 to 0. Dizzy strikes out! Will the Doggers ever catch up?” –Homer
by Diane DeGroat & Shelley Rotner
Alex loves baseball. So does his dog, Homer. One starry night, after Alex goes to sleep, Homer and his canine friends get ready for their big baseball game. Find out who will be the champions of the dog baseball world when Homer and the Doggers take on the mighty Hounds.
A story with baseball and dogs should be an interesting book; however, Homer has too many flaws. The dog characters and the plot are not developed, which makes the story confusing. Instead of telling a unique story, the predictable story uses too much baseball prose. For example, “Here’s the pitch. . . It’s a long drive to center field. It’s waaay back! The ball is going. . . going. . . it’s gone!”
The inside cover of the book has cute player cards of both teams, which identify their breed and teams. The picture book uses computer-enhanced photos of the dogs. The illustrations, while amusing at times, are strange. Often the artwork and photos do not match correctly. In one picture, a dog is batting while another one is peeing on a fire hydrant.
Baseball and animal fans might overlook the negative aspects of the book. The full-page pictures include text bubbles with some cute dialogue. The story also incorporates some dog puns. For example, when the Homers are suiting up for the game, one dog says, “it’s going to be a ruff game.” Most pages have one sentence, and many pages have no text. Baseball fans might want to leave Homer on the library shelf. If you’re looking for an inspirational baseball picture book Catching the Moon: The Story of a Young Girl’s Baseball Dream by Crystal Hubbard is an excellent story with a positive message. Readers who are ready for chapter books should read The Alien Next Door: Baseball Blues by A.I Newton.
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