DINO BASKETBALL by Lisa Wheeler
“They celebrate – cut down the net. This was their finest season yet.” Thus ends the game between the Red Team (meat loving carnivores), versus the Green Team (veggie loving herbivores). The announcer, in rhyming verse, calls this riveting game full of real-life basketball action: alley-oops, pivots, jumps, fouls, traveling, tending. The Green Team dinosaurs are huge. Stego, Pachy, Tricera, and Jobar are a few of the players. The Red Team, much smaller yet faster, include team-mates Ptero, Raptor, T. Rex and Galli. The illustrations are colorful, animated, and comical in the depiction of dinosaurs as basketball players. I loved it. The story has excitement, entertaining sports action and emotional coaches. Mid-game there is a half-time show made up of original, rarely, if ever seen, acts like the dinosuar-pyramid, mascots, music and what looks like an Elvis-impersonator dinosaur.
The fans sing a very appropriately dinosaur-athlete song. It is wild and fun and everything a half-time show should be. Back to the action in the second half, the heat is on as the dinosaurs ramp up their game. The players become more intense as the end draws near. A few fast plays will keep you on the edge of your seat until the buzzer sounds. The winner cuts down the net and shows off the trophy. The crowd goes wild. You will not be disappointed with this book. Kids will love everything about this story. It is engaging, exciting and unusual. This is the “can’t miss” game of the year.
Note: received galley from Net Galley, courtesy of the publisher