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|Randy Riley's really big hit|
Author: Van Dusen, Chris
Randy Riley, a science genius who loves baseball but is not very good at it, needs to use both his interests to save his town from a giant fireball that is heading their way.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 4.00
Points: .5 Quiz: 149728
School Library Journal - 01/01/2012 K-Gr 3—Rhythmic, rollicking verse tells the tale of a young science geek, whose hapless efforts on the baseball field cause his teammates to hang their heads. Randy just can't help it. Both on and off the diamond, his thoughts turn more instinctively to planets, scientific equations, and robots: "…something beyond baseball/brought a smile to Randy's face/What Randy Riley really loved/was stuff from outer space!" Spying a giant fireball hurtling toward Earth through his Space Boy telescope one night, the boy frantically warns his parents—only to be sent back to bed. Undeterred, he secretly proceeds to construct a massive, top-secret robot in the backyard shed, which he unveils after the local news finally warns of the fireball's approach. The citizens watch in amazement as Randy guides the gargantuan robot to a deserted old mill, where it cracks off a smokestack and bats the fireball back into space. Randy's engineering talents have clearly saved the day. The crisp cartoon illustrations, rendered in brightly colored gouache, impart a retro small-town world with many expressive and amusing details. Full-bleed spreads delight readers with their varied and exaggerated perspectives, from under the catcher's mitt to bird's-eye views of the town. With all the bases covered—musical text, entertaining artwork, and surefire subject matter—this title bats 1,000 for group or lapsit read-alouds.—Kathleen Finn, St. Francis Xavier School, Winooski, VT - Copyright 2012 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 02/01/2012 A baseball-loving science nerd finds a way to combine his favorite endeavors when a fireball from space threatens his hometown. Spotting the approaching meteoroid through his “Space Boy telescope,” Randy sets to work, calmly constructing a giant robotic slugger who steps up to the plate just in time and belts a dinger. “How predictable—a fastball, low and in,” the young inventor notes. Van Dusen does this fine premise justice, pairing reasonably regular lines of rhyme faintly reminiscent of “Casey at the Bat” to spacious, retro scenes of a tidy late 1950s hamlet, and outfitting his diminutive hero with both the requisite heavy glasses and a world-class collection of vintage toy robots. Randy may be an easy out with a bat, but his heroism merits a spot at the heart of any budding geek’s lineup. - Copyright 2012 Booklist.