Three Strikes for Rotten Ralph

Jack Gantos, Author, Nicole Rubel, Illustrator
Jack Gantos, illus. by Nicole Rubel, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, $16.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-374-36354-3
Reviewed on: 01/24/2011
Release date: 02/01/2011
In this early reader, Ralph, the storied tomato-red cat with a jack-o-lantern grin, has home run aspirations. But when it's time for tryouts, Ralph is too focused on being a "superstar" to listen to his owner Sarah's advice. Though Sarah makes the Fighting Squirrels and Ralph doesn't, he becomes the team's "cat boy," giving him a chance to hone his skills. Busy daydreaming and practicing his autograph, Ralph doesn't bother practicing, and when he fills in for a sick player, his overconfidence results in a belly flop. Gantos and Rubel offer easy reading, funny pictures, and an accessible lesson about humility and hard work—sprinkled with some legit baseball pointers. Ages 6–8. (Feb.)
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!