The Great Ball Game

How Bat Settles the Rivalry between the Animals and the Birds; A Circle Round Book

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Pub Date 08 Nov 2022 | Archive Date 08 Nov 2022
Storey Publishing, Storey Publishing, LLC

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The Great Ball Game, a classic folktale originating from the Cherokee, Creek, Ojibway and Menominee people of North America, is adapted for a contemporary audience by Rebecca Sheir, host of the award-winning Circle Round podcast, and accompanied by the vibrant illustrations of Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley, an Ojibwe Woodland artist. A dispute between the animals and the birds over who is best leads to a ball game challenge. When the game is disrupted by the arrival of a tiny creature named Bat, who doesn't seem to fit on either team, all the participants learn the value of diversity and celebrating those who seem "different." The accompanying activities and prompts encourage children to develop their own storytelling skills.

The Great Ball Game, a classic folktale originating from the Cherokee, Creek, Ojibway and Menominee people of North America, is adapted for a contemporary audience by Rebecca Sheir, host of the...

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EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781635863437
PRICE $14.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 35 members

Featured Reviews

Read this with my son (7) and he was engaged the whole time. He was especially interested in the bat and liked how they were able to problem-solve to get everyone to join the game. We were able to connect with real-life problems after reading. It's not easy to keep his interest so, that's a huge plus!

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This was a great read for my kids. My daughter(6) had some strong reactions throughout particularly to the treatment of the bat. It’s a great way of A) depicting how our treatment of others who are different can make people feel, B) highlighting the importance of our differences and how they make us special, not weird. The illustrations were fun for kids and I’m sure will be awesome once finished.

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This book is a really neat adaptation of an Indigenous folk tale about a ball game. I believe the animals in the story are playing lacrosse, which actually was created by Indigenous groups in New York and parts of Canada! The teams are land animals vs birds and when a bat shows up to join the game the animals reject this potential team mate because he doesn’t quite fit in one group or the other. The story is about inclusion and the idea that differences are not just ok, they can be very helpful! The art/illustrations were done by an Ojibwe artist and are beautiful! I think this is a great book for an elementary classroom library! I would definitely read this book to my students in grade 3 and recommend it to other teachers. I’m Canadian and I think this story would be fine in Canadian classrooms, but I also think it would work in classrooms across the world as an opportunity to learn about other cultures through story.

Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this fantastic book! I look forward to purchasing a copy for my classroom library!

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What a wonderful book! This book has so many wonderful things about it that it is almost difficult to write about them. The story involves a disagreement between the birds and the animals as to which group is better. They decide to have a ball game to decide the matter, with the first goal scored determining the winner. The ball game is lacrosse, which was create by Indigenous people. Just as the game is to begin, a creature none of them had seen before approached and asked which team they should play for. The creature was a bat and didn't fit the opinions of what either the animals or the birds considered themselves to be.

The story is a version of Native American stories which have been passed down through generations. The author found similar tales from Cherokee, Muskogee and Menominee tribes and likely could have found versions in the lore of many other tribes. The illustrations are the work of Joshua Mangeshig Pawls-Steckley, an Ojibwe Woodland artist and member of Wasauksing, First Nation. His art focuses on promoting and reclaiming Ojibwe stories and traditions. The illustrations are wonderfully colorful and reminiscent of traditional Native American art.

The book could be compared to an Aesop fable in that there is a lesson to be learned from the story. I am a fan of Native American stories and find that they always have a good life lesson to be shared. In my opinion, Rebecca Sheir caught the flavor of Native American tales and the combination of her story and Joshua Mangeshig Pawls-Steckley's illustrations is beautiful.

An added bonus is the suggested activities section at the end of the book. There are questions about feeling different, how it is hard and what makes one proud. Activities range from writing and storytelling prompts to the physical - pantomime, relay race and "dance like an animal". I found these activities to be thoughtful and a cunning tie-ins to the story.

A beautiful book that everyone, child and adult, will enjoy.

Thank you to the author, Storey Publishing, LLC and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this amazing book.

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I read The Great Ball Game with my children (11&8). We loved the vibrant illustrations and messages. This story is an adaptation of a Cherokee, Creek, Ojibwe, and Menominee folktale. An argument between animals and birds ensues, resulting in a ball game to determine who is the best. Bat doesn't fit in with either group and neither group wants to claim him. It isn't until a problem arises that both groups see Bat's uniqueness and value.
This a great story about inclusion, treating others the way you want to be treated, recognizing our differences as special, and working together.
The bonus interactive pages are extra icing on the cake. Two thumbs up. 👍 👍

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The Great Ball Game is a children’s picture book which is adapted from a traditional folktale that has been passed down among many indigenous peoples in North America. The story is about a great argument between the birds and the land animals over which group was better. They decided to end their debate by having a ball game. Whoever scored the first goal would be considered the best. Before the game can begin, a new animal, Bat, steps forward and asks which team he should be be on for the game. Both sides say that Bat is too different to play for either side. The game begins and lasts all through the day without either side scoring a goal. The sun sets and most of the animals are unable to see in the dark and there are bothersome biting bugs everywhere. Eventually the ball is completely lost. Bat reappears and brings the ball with him. The animals all ask how he was able to find the ball. Bat explains that his differences are what enabled him to find the ball. He then pointed out that all of the birds and animals were actually all different and that those differences are what make them great. The world would be a boring place if everyone was the same. All of the animals agree.
The book also includes some interactive activities at the end of the book for readers to participate in to make it even more.
This book was created by Circle Round, which p is adapts folktales from around the world into song and music rich recordings for kids. There is a QR code to scan to access the podcast episode of this story.
I really liked this story. I love sharing diverse folktales with my students and folktales are a part of the curriculum in my state. I also like the message that everyone’s differences are the very things that make them unique.

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It’s a ball game and the stakes are high!

The animals decide to play a game to decide who is better. During the game, a bat appears and both sides decide that he does not fit in their group. The bat leaves rejected.
This is a great book that addresses the topic of being different. Sometimes what makes us different saves the day.

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Always a pleasure reading these books. Moreover this one, although I got the Advanced Reader Copy with unfinished illustration, gave me faith that this will be one amazing book. The story's wonderful, the message was given in smooth way, and the games at the end of the book are entertaining. Go buy this book, it's worth your money.

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Definitely a book I want in my school library! Engaging art and story with a message that resonates with all audiences.

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Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to read this and review it prior to publication. Admittedly, I asked my 8 year old son to help me with this review. I thought it was important to get both the parent, and the child's, opinion on the story. We both loved the story and the illustrations. As a budding athlete, he was very interested in the teamwork aspect of the game. As a child with a disability, we loved that it taught about differences and how that is ok. Great, enjoyable book which was fun and full of lessons!

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