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Bonaparte Plays Ball

Crown Books
Ill. by Will Terry

Nervous Bonaparte
Bonaparte Plays Ball

(eBook ISBN 9781984830494)

Bonaparte, a skeleton with loose bones, proves to his team that even with jangly bones (and nerves), he can lead them to victory against the Mighty Aliens baseball team in the Weird Series.


A championship baseball game pitting monsters against extraterrestrial beings—what’s not to like? In this sequel to Bonaparte Falls Apart (2017)—in which a boy skeleton whose bones have a tendency to fly off gets help from his dog and little monster friends—Bonaparte goes to bat for his team, again with the prospect of flying bones. The Weird Series is coming up, and the Little Monsters, a ragtag collection that includes a little vampire, a Frankenstein’s monster, a zombie, and a mummy, are up against the multi-eyed, cranium-bodied, and slobbery-mouthed Mighty Aliens. Terry’s crosshatched illustrations, surrounded by generous white space, highlight the action—flying bones, a fainting monster, a ball flying into orbit. The pictures are also kid friendly, featuring gross but not scary monsters and aliens. Besides the visual fun, the book is packed with Coach Roach’s advice to never give up, along with Bonaparte’s successful struggles to keep himself together (aided by his bone-fetching dog). Hilarious—and motivating—especially for sports-centric kids. – Booklist 

Young Bonaparte is a skeleton whose difficulty keeping his bones from falling away at the most inopportune moments weighs on his mind. With a large round head and a red baseball cap on top, his loose collection of bones resembles a spiral light bulb. His baseball team, the Little Monsters, is scheduled to play the Mighty Aliens, and he is especially worried about the dreadful possibility that he will literally fall apart during the game. He practices hard, and his faithful dog, Mandible, fetches any bone that comes loose. But his worries are for naught; his bones stay pretty much intact, at least until the winning celebration, and Mandible has his back(bone) when he needs help. The players on the Mighty Aliens have names like Flame Thrower and Galactic Slimer that describe their special talents. Some of the Little Monsters’ names are clever puns, like hero Bonaparte and his teammates Franky Stein and Batula. Others are more descriptive of their natures, like Ghostie, Mummicula, and Zombie. The very tight tale is fast paced, focusing on the events of the game and with nods to overcoming obstacles, teamwork, and sportsmanship. Terry’s busy cartoons are spot-on, matching the text’s lightness and humor as well as providing visual clues for young readers who may not be familiar with baseball jargon. Lots of fun with a gentle message for little ones and their grown-ups. – Kirkus Reviews 

In the sequel to Bonaparte Falls Apart, the eponymous young skeleton and his monstrous friends, including Franky Stein, Mummicula, and Zombie, return. The aptly named Little Monsters go up against the Mighty Aliens in a game of baseball. When it comes time for Bonaparte to go to bat, he’ll have to find his strength if he wants to carry his team to victory. – Publishers Weekly

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