|Baseball player and the walrus|
Author: Loory, Ben
A successful but unhappy baseball player finds companionship in the pet walrus he adopts but is soon faced with the great challenge of balancing his responsibilities and maintaining the costly upkeep of his new friend.
Kirkus Reviews (03/01/15)
School Library Journal (12/01/14)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 12/01/2014 PreS-Gr 1—Is there a child who hasn't dreamed of bringing an animal home from the zoo? In this debut picture book, a sad and lonely baseball player spends a day at the zoo and decides he must buy his new walrus friend. While this picture book could steer into the murky area of animal neglect, the author and illustrator do a wonderful job of showing the realities of owning an exotic animal. For example, before the walrus comes home the baseball player builds a "special enclosure in his backyard for the walrus. It had a huge pool and plenty of places to lie out, and a retractable roof in case it got too cold or too hot. He bought lots of fish and barrels of walrus vitamins, and had fancy lights installed." Once the baseball player goes on the road with his team, he becomes sad and lonely and realizes he wants to be home with the walrus, so he quits. Of course, then the unemployed baseball player has no money for his expensive pet, so the walrus must go back to the zoo. Luckily there is a happy ending for both characters. The text and hand-drawn pencil illustrations are a perfect match in this story. While the story is complex, the author chooses his words wisely and the length is perfect for one-on-one sharing or a school age storytime.—Brooke Newberry, La Crosse Public Library, WI - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 04/15/2015 After spending a wonderful day watching a walrus at the zoo, a baseball player builds a special enclosure in his backyard. He buys the walrus, brings it home, and even teaches it to play catch. They are happy together until his team hits the road. Pining for his walrus, the ballplayer quits and goes home. Eventually, he runs out of money and must return the walrus to the zoo. But when the despondent fellow goes there to say good-bye, he finds the one job opening he is uniquely qualified for: walrus caretaker. Parents may be best equipped to understand the ballplayer’s angst, caught between his need to work and his yearning to stay home with his walrus. But kids will feel his pain and, no doubt, will find this picture book compelling. Enhanced with digitally added colors and textures, Latimer’s expressive drawings are full of intriguing and amusing details. The deadpan humor in the illustrations works perfectly with Loory’s offbeat, lovable narrative. Highly recommended for reading aloud. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.