Cover image for The jungle baseball game
The jungle baseball game
Paxton, Tom, 1937-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Morrow Junior Books, [1999]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
The jungle animals enjoy a rousing game of baseball.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.7 0.5 43025.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

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It's a marvelous mismatch: the humble hippos versus the magnificent monkeys, the slickest ballplayers around. Though the primates are poised for an easy win, the hippos buckle down and teach their opponents a thing or two about true grit! Brightly colored pictures feature rip-roaring action and high jinks that will keep little sluggers laughing all the way to home plate. Music based on Tom Paxton's song "The Monkeys' Baseball Game" is included on the endpapers.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 5^-8. A veteran balladeer turns another of his songs into a picture-book story, and although some children may find 20 verses a few too many, the conversion works smoothly enough otherwise. Incautiously challenging the champion monkeys to a game, a team of bumbling hippos buckles down to score a late go-ahead run, then wins in the ninth when pitcher Slammin' Sally causes a gorilla to fly out. Schmidt, who also illustrated Paxton's Going to the Zoo (1996), dresses the portly upstarts in pink T-shirts and decorates the margins with capering, overconfident primates just itching (not to mention scratching) for a fall. Like Mark Teague's The Field beyond the Outfield (1992), this will appeal to baseball fans and nonfans alike for its silliness and suspenseful game action. Music (with incomplete lyrics) is printed on the endpapers. --John Peters

Publisher's Weekly Review

This adaptation of a Paxton song is a solid base hit. The childlike plot revolves around two rival teams, the cocky and confident monkeys, and the initially clumsy and lumbering hippos. Things look bleak for the hippos throughout most of the inningsÄ"Missing pitches, dropping fly balls,/ Tripping over feet,/ Nervously they thought about/ The team they could not beat"Äand the monkeys don't help matters by jeering at them. But the champs have to eat their taunting refrain ("Whacka, whacka, hoo boy,/ Tie 'em with a rope./ Poor old hippos/ Haven't got a hope!") when the hippos bounce back and trounce them in the final inning. Schmidt's (Going to the Zoo) chipper watercolor and gouache illustrations keep good time with Paxton's mildly peppery light verse. Brightly bordered pages embellished with jungle and baseball motifs (hotdogs, popcorn, leafy vines) alternate with borderless vistas, enlivening the visual flow, and the chubby hippos, suited up in pink shirts and palm-tree patterned shorts, are particularly fetching. All in all, a sporting good day at the ball park. Ages 3-up. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 3-A lively offering from the duo that produced Going to the Zoo (Morrow, 1996). This time, the action centers on a hotly contested baseball game as the underdogs challenge the champs and carry the day. Dressed in pink shirts and flowered shorts, the hippo team is derided and discounted by the confident monkey players, looking smart in their blue uniforms. At first, the portly, uncoordinated hippos trip over their own feet but they soon decide they've had enough and buckle down to win the game, much to the chagrin of their competitors. Paxton's rhyming verses build the drama of this comeback with each line as first the hippos score to go ahead and then hold off a late-inning surge by the other team. Schmidt's watercolor-and-gouache illustrations give the words a lively energy, portraying the monkeys literally hanging around near their clubhouse, dancing around the baseball diamond, ridiculing their opponents, and finally scrambling unsuccessfully to grab victory from the jaws of defeat. The hippos, with their names inscribed on their pink shirts ("Slammin' Sally" and "Merve the Curve"), thunder earnestly around the field, first in confusion and then in victory. Music with a single-line melody and the first verse of the song adorns the end pages. An inventive sports story that's perfect for storytime or lap sharing.-Jane Marino, Scarsdale Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.