cover image My New Team

My New Team

Ryan Howard and Krystle Howard, illus. by Erwin Madrid. Scholastic, $16.99 (112p) ISBN 978-0-545-67491-1

Ryan Howard, a first baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies, and his wife, Krystle, make a fine team of their own in this first book in the Little Rhino series, inspired by Ryan’s childhood. Second-grader Rhino loves baseball and dreams of going pro, but the presence of class bully Dylan on his current team is making his life difficult. Rhino’s devoted grandfather and older brother trot out shopworn advice about ignoring bullies or turning them into friends, but the authors wisely resist an unrealistically tidy ending. Instead, Rhino gradually learns the benefits of being a good friend both to peers who are receptive (like his quiet buddy Cooper) and to those whose attitudes are slow to improve, like Dylan. Readers will find it easy to share in Rhino’s frustrations and triumphs. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 7–10. (Jan.)