Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books
Randy Riley's Really Big Hit

Randy Riley's Really Big Hit

Spring 2012 Picture Books
Ages: 4 & Up
Author: Chris Van Dusen
Publisher: Candlewick Press
ISBN: 978-0-7636-4946-3
Hardcover Price: $15.99

Picture a mash-up of the classic poem "Casey at the Bat" and the movie The Iron Giant, and you'll get something along the lines of Chris Van Dusen's fun robot/baseball picture book. Main character Randy Riley is a space and science whiz, but even though he loves baseball just as much, that's where he fails miserably. It's only when the town is threatened by a fireball hurtling toward the Earth that his true potential as a ball player is realized. The story is fast-paced, funny, and energetic with an engaging rhyming text. Van Dusen's illustrations are bold and offbeat with a retro flavor reminiscent of 1950s sci-fi. This is a light-hearted, fun story that will appeal to robot-loving kids.

Zarina Mullan Plath   ©2012 Parents' Choice
Zarina Mullan Plath has undergraduate degrees in both biology and English. Her interests include cookbooks/culinary history, South Asian literature (especially in regards to South Asians in America), and, of course, children's literature. Her poetry is included in the anthology Sweeping Beauty (U. of Iowa Press, 2005). Zarina lives in Central Illinois with her husband, two children, and assorted pets.

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