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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Mitchell Goes Bowling, written by Hallie Durand and illustrated by Tony Fucile. Candlewick Press, Random House. 2013. $18.00 ages 4 and up

"Mitchell picked the biggest
He threw it.
"That's called the gutter," his
dad said.
Mitchell didn't like the gutter.
He was curious about where
his ball had gone...
until it popped right out
at him!"

Welcome back, Mitchell and his dad! We've missed your boisterous exuberance. If you haven't seen or read their first foray into fractious fun, be sure to check out Mitchell's License (Candlewick, 2011). You'll have a great time sharing it.

Mitchell is an accident waiting to happen. He does nothing slowly or quietly. He's happy to take aim at anything, in an effort to knock it down. Then one Saturday his dad grows tired of his antics, thinking he will provide an appropriate outlet for his son's energy and penchant for 'bowling' things over!

There is so much to see at the bowling alley, and a number of wonderful new, a scoreboard, balls, pins and shiny, slippery lanes. Luckily his quick reflexes protect Mitchell from meeting the bowling ball face to face when he jumps out of its way as it comes back to him in the ball return!

Dad is adept at all skills necessary to have a winning game. Mitchell? Not so much...he struggles to stay standing and to keep his ball in the designated lane. He tries and fails to follow his dad's lead and soon realizes that he is losing. Try as he might, he just can't get the hang of the game. So, when dad offers teaming up, it doesn't take Mitchell long to make the right deal.

Ah, the sweet smell of success!

Tony Fucile's digital artwork is a perfect match for the fun found in the lively text. His characters are full of energy and spirit. His choice of the color red for the bowling ball keep it front and center for the action at the alley. He uses variety in perspective to keep readers totally focused on the action, and the warmth of the relationship between the two. This book is a delight, and would make a wonderful gift for dad in June, when we get around to celebrating Father's Day 2014.

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