by Hallie Durand
Tony Fucile, illustrator
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!
JUNIOR LIBRARY GUILD SELECTION
Ages 3 to 7
© 2013 by Candlewick Press, used with permission
Text copyright © 2013 by Hallie Durand
Illustrations copyright © 2013 by Tony Fucile
- Children’s Book of The Week: ‘Mitchell Goes Bowling’ (ihogeek.com)