#119 – Miss Emily Goes to Bat by Trina Ayling

A to Z Challenge Day 13: M

 5 Stars

Miss Emily the cat can’t catch anything!  William and Thomas are determined to help her be like other cats.  They decide that she just needs a few lessons on catching.  With the help of the local baseball coach they’re certain Miss Emily will finally learn.  But things run afoul just as she hits her first homerun. 

William and Thomas are sure they’ve struck out but soon discover that catching isn’t the only way to earn MVP—“Most Valuable Pussycat.”

Full disclosure:  I love cats.  My most beloved have both passed away after 15 and 17 years together.  I now have two young cats at home.  I love dogs too, no problem there, just not the space needed for a dog..  This is one reason I pet sit—dogs.

Miss Emily owns the hearts of brothers Michael and Thomas.  She can do many cat things like jumping, scratching, sleeping, and keeping herself beautiful and clean.  What Miss Emily could not do was catch.  The boys really want to play catch with Miss Emily so they drain their piggy bank, arrange lessons with the local baseball coach, Mr. B.D. McGee, also known as Coach Burt, and then show up at the ball field with Miss Emily for lesson one.  Coach Burt starts his grand plan with step one:  calling Miss Emily into the batter’s box.

                    . . . . .Strike One! calls the umpire.  
                    . . . . Strike two!  

Miss Emily corrects her stance–onto the plate, and adjusted the cap on her head.  She swings the bat, hits the ball high, wide, and far enough for a home run.

 . . . . . . . . . . . . . Miss Emily ran quickly
 . . . . . . . . . . . . . to reach the first base,
 . . . .. . . . . . . . . .but Rover the dog
 . .  .. . . . . . . . . . had started a chase.

What happens next is quite a delight . . .  for the reader.

Not only is the story fun, funny, exciting, and simply cat-tastic, the illustrations are adorable, colorful, expressive, and could tell the story without text.  And  Miss Emily Goes to Bat is teeming with pictures. Coach Burt looks comical.  His pants appear to pull all the way up under his knobby elbowed arms, and his matching cap looks like a beanie with missing propellers.  The bleachers are full of comic people.  The text is lively and fun to read.

.  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Just take her away.
. . . . . . . . . . .  . . . .Take her right now.
.  . . . . . . . . . . . . . Use a bus, use a car,
. . .  . . . . . . . . . . .  I do not care how.


I really like Miss Emily Goes to Bat.  It is a happy book with bright colors that at times just POP! off the page..  The cover was enough to get me excited and I read the story immediately after opening the parcel.  The rhyming text has a singsong quality, which made it roll off my tongue.  I like when a rhymed story does this, it makes the reading fun, easy, and can feel more like singing than reading.  The story seemed longer than its 32 pages, yet was a quick read.  With the themes of acceptance, being your best, and being kind I was touched and began a self-analysis of how accepting I am.

This book has a message.  This message is not forced or played up.  The message is there, tucked in the story naturally, perfectly, and heartfelt.  Miss Emily is perfect, we are perfect and all we need to do is . . . nah, I cannot do this.  I cannot ruin the end of this story, no matter how perfect and life affirming it is.  No matter the self-esteem boost you might receive from knowing this ending.  You are just going to have to get your own copy of Miss Emily Goes to Bat.

Thomas and Michael are typical middle grade aged boys.  They could be any little boy making this a great book for boys.  They can put themselves in the story and have a great time, especially if they own a non-catching cat.  Cats or dogs, whichever you prefer, Miss Emily Goes to Bat is sure to please.  Now is a great time for this wonderfully whimsical picture book.  It will delight boys and girls, baseball fans, and cat lovers.  Dog lovers can cheer on Rover, the cat-chasing mutt.  This will be one book kids will call a favorite and parents will not tire of reading.  Miss Emily Goes to Bat is that good.

To comment, and I hope you will, scroll to the top of this review, look left, and click on “comment.”  Thanks.

Miss Emily Goes to Bat (Miss Emily’s Adventures, Book 1)

Author:  Trina Ayling   
Illustrator: Micheline Ryckman
Publisher:  Whimsical Publishing Company    website
Release Date:  April 17, 2012
ISBN:  978-0-9869373-0-9
Number of Pages: 32
Reading Levels: Grades k-2 (read to)
.  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-4 with help

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4-6 on own

Fast Note:  The publisher’s website has wonderful coloring pages to download and color from the illustrator, Micheline Ryckman.  There is also lots of other activities and teacher aides.  It is a very nice site geared towards children in a safe environment.


A to Z Challenge Day 13: M
Half way to Z


6 thoughts on “#119 – Miss Emily Goes to Bat by Trina Ayling

  1. Pingback: Miss Emily’s First B-day Giveaway! | Whimsical Publishing

  2. I shared a link to your blog with my teaching colleagues. This is a great place to beef up our classroom libraries.


    • Leslie,
      That is terrific and terrifying. I love that you are spreading the word about Kid Lit, and I love having teachers here. But this also means I better stay on top of my speling, my punctuation; and my grammar. THANKS!! 😉


  3. Pingback: Wonderful Review by Sure Morris – Kid Lit Reviews « Whimsical Publishing

    • Thank you Audrey. You wouldn’t happen to be a teacher, would you? Just checking. This is a nicely colored book, too. Bright primary colors are used. Thanks again for the compliment.


Leave a Reply to smmorris Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.