#415 – Mitchell Goes Bowling by Hallie Durand

Mitchell Goes Bowling.

Mitchell Goes Bowling

by Hallie Durandlogo_123377_web (1)

Tony Fucile, illustrator

Candlewick Press

Top 10 of 2013

Inside Jacket: Mitchell loves to knock things down. . . . So one Saturday, his dad takes him bowling. Mitchell likes the special shoes and the loud crashing noises, but getting a strike isn’t as easy as his dad makes it look. There’s there’s the gutter, for starters, and the lanes are slippery, too. . . . Will Mitchell ever find a way to get an X on the scoreboard?

Opening:  Mitchell always knocked things down. That’s just how he rolled. He even tried to knock down his dad. . . . But one Saturday, when Mitchell was doing his thing, his dad caught him and put him in the car.


About the Story:  Looking a bit worried and definitely unsure, as he sat in the backseat all buckled up, Mitchell remained quiet. His face lit up when he saw the BOWL sign. The place was loud, smelled like pizza and had many differently colored balls lined up against the wall. Mitchell put on his cool rental shoes, picked out a bowling ball, and got to put his own name into the electronic scoreboard. Picking up the ball—the biggest one he could find—Mitchell threw it as hard as he could down the lane . . . gutterball. Taking his second turn, Mitchell rolled the ball and knocked down TWO pins. Battle on! Mitchell yelled to his dad. Dad got up and rolled a strike. Mitchell tried to imitate his dad. Didn’t help. Dad got another strike! Mitchell decided to use the air blower, just like his dad. Mitchell used it on his hands, his face, and his hair. Mitchell really wanted to win.


What I Thought:  Confession time. I love to bowl. I bowled more times than I could count on Saturdays. Mitchell Goes Bowling is right up my alley. I loved the illustrations. The motions and the atmosphere of the game are spot-on. The lanes had the correct dots in the correct spots, and even the boards were visible. The oil made Mitchell’s reflection visible. The motions Mitchell makes are easy to visualize thanks to swooshes, circles, and action words used.

I love the illustration of Mitchell slamming into his father’s legs, going nowhere. His aim was to knock his dad down. I also like Mitchell’s exuberance as he runs around the house knocking things down or through the air. The only one pleased is Mitchell. I hate to use this word but I am going to anyway: the illustrations are Adorable, with a capital A.


The story does not give Mitchell an age; it could be about any kid who loves to knock things down. His smart dad gets Mitchell out of the house before trouble begins and takes his son to a logical place for someone who loves to knock things down. Mitchell loves the bowling alley, and who can blame him. The place is bright, happy, and full of glory-yet-to-win. Dad is an obvious bowler, even wearing his bowling shirt on a nonleague night. So his strikes should come as no surprise, not even to Mitchell. What surprises Mitchell is his inability to cause a strike himself.

Mitchell Goes Bowling is hilarious and original, and has boyish charm. Anyone who bowls will love this book, especially if a young child went along. When Mitchell gets frustrated and announces he wants to leave, Dad knows exactly what to do. Mitchell gets his strike and can finally do the triple steamin’-hot-potato dance with salsa. Young children, who love sports and games, will like this book.


Young children, who enjoy funny picture books, will adore this picture book. Those who love endearing family moments will love Mitchell Goes Bowling. Reviewers who are entertained by wonderfully, hilarious picture books that make them constantly smile and giggle, will give Mitchell Goes Bowling twelve strikes!

This reviewer scores Mitchell Goes Bowling a perfect 300!




Mitchell Goes Bowling

by Hallie Durand   website    facebook    bio

Tony Fucile, illustrator    bio    disneywiki

Candlewick Press    website    facebook    twitter

Released 2013

ISBN:  978-0-7636-6049-9

32 Pages

Ages 3 to 7


© 2013 by Candlewick Press, used with permission

Text copyright © 2013 by Hallie Durand

Illustrations copyright © 2013 by Tony Fucile



mitchell bowling


19 thoughts on “#415 – Mitchell Goes Bowling by Hallie Durand

  1. Pingback: Bowling Blog Tour | Hallie Durand

  2. Pingback: Reblog Friday! | For the love of kidlit

  3. I like bowling! When I was a pup I got to go to bowling alleys on occasion and watch the humans bowl. Sometimes at home the Mom Person sets up some things for Walker and me to bowl over. Fun! I’ll have to check this one out! Thanks!


    • Hey, Rhythm, do you use a tennis ball or something to knock down the stuff set up for you or is it more a body slam? I love a good dog body slam – as long as I see it and don’t feel it. I bet you were the star of the lanes whenever you got to go bowling as a pup. I can see you as a sweet, adorable, puppy.


      • I have better uses for my tennis balls. That bowling is all about free for all knock em down! Not quite like they do it at those bowling alleys. But I think a lot more fun! The Mom Person says I’m still a sweet adorable pup. Just a little bigger and less rowdy!


  4. OK, Sue, I had to laugh at myself just now! lol When I saw the title and cover of this book, I was floored that there was actually a children’s book about BOWLING! I mean, I never stopped to think about it, but as popular as bowling is with kids and as family or friends “outings,” I really can’t remember EVER seeing a picture (or any other genre) book about bowling! Anyway, I jumped right into your review, and as I was reading and scrolling, then came to the last illustration you posted (“Three,” said his dad. “Nice.”) I thought “Hmmm…that looks like a “Tony Fucile” face. This illustrator must’ve been referring to Tony Fucile’s illustrations.” Then I scroll down to the book info and see Tony Fucile IS the illustrator! lol No WONder you think the illustrations are adorable! He is one of my all-time favorite illustrators EVER!

    The first time I became aware of his work was when his first picture book LET’S DO NOTHING! was released. I bought it as soon as I picked it off the B&N shelf and read it. In fact, as soon as I turned the first couple of pages, I thought he might be an animator and found out he was when I read the jacket flap! The man is an amazing talent, at least to me, and he’s also the reason I started buying the “Bink and Gollie” books by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee. I only just now looked it up and learned there are TWO MORE “Mitchell” books, too!


    This is exciting stuff for me, especially since I only found out last night that a THIRD “Bink and Gollie” book had been released in April and I didn’t know it! I’m SO glad you reviewed this book! 😀 Anyway, you KNOW I’ll be looking for THIS one! 😀


    • That is some excitement for this book! Wow! Well; I will concede, I was surprised to find a book about bowling. It is not the kind of subject I would expect to read in a picture book. But then, why not? There are all sorts of sports books, so why not bowling–America number one family sport! I like this illustrator a lot. I eep looking at the name of the bowling alley and wondering how to get that on a flat paper. He’s good.

      Yes. I knew about he others books, but forgot to mention them. 🙂


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