Randy Riley's Really Big Hit
Chris Van Dusen
Candlewick, 2012 (2012)
Reviewed by Bob Walch
andy Riley loves baseball but he's really not very good at it. He's especially inept when it comes to hitting. Randy Riley also loves science and he's very good at it. He can do complicated math in his head and knows a lot about what's happening in outer space.
n this picture book by Chris Van Dusen, Randy Riley combines his two loves in a very remarkable manner. When Randy sights a fireball heading Earth's way with his Space Boy telescope, he decides he has to do something to avert a catastrophe.
or 18 days, he toils away creating a super large robot (Randy knows all about robots too!) and he finishes just in time. With the fireball nearing Earth, Randy energizes his creation with 97 batteries, takes over the hand controls and moves his huge robot to the outskirts of town.
long the way his steel robot rips the smokestack from its foundation at an abandoned mill and carries it on his shoulder like a baseball hat. Since Randy has worked out the fireball's trajectory he knows exactly where it should hit.
nce he arrives at the spot, Randy maneuvers his robot into a '
' and awaits the fireball.
Randy's eye was on the ball,
No room for error now.
Three-two-one and FLIP THE SWITCH!
A SWOOSH and then ...
A blinding FLASH! A booming CRASH!
He knew what he had done!
Randy Riley had a HIT!
His VERY FIRST HOME RUN!
aturally, Randy saved the day and Earth was spared a terrible calamity but was he any better when he stepped up to the plate during his team's next outing? Not really!
t's an amusing ode to a little boy's ingenuity with plenty of visual humor and a playful, rhymed text. I think you'll agree with me that Chris Van Dusen has
knocked one out of the park
with this story. His other books,
King Hugo's Huge Ego
The Circus Ship
were hits too.
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