Randy Riley's Really Big Hit
What You Need to Know:|
• Randy Riley's Really Big Hit is a funny, meaningful and entertaining story.
• Randy Riley is my new favorite hero.
• Chris Van Dusen is also the illustrator of the Mercy Watson series authored by Kate DiCamillo and he is
the author/illustrator of the brilliant Circus Ship and King Hugo's Huge Ego.
Randy Riley is secure in who he is: cerebral (nerdy), smart (rocket-scientist smart) and heroic, (ready to save the world). He does just that in this terrific picture book. Randy is terrible at baseball. While he is a genius when it comes to things related to space and the solar system, in baseball, he just can't hit the ball. After a particularly disappointing baseball game, Randy goes home to the comfort of his robots and telescope. While relaxing and looking at space, Randy discovers a fireball is headed straight for earth. It will make landfall in just nineteen days! Randy alerts his parents to the impending doom, but they think he is just over-tired and send him to bed. Randy isn't deterred and makes plans to save the world anyway.
Nineteen days later, scientists discover the fireball and give the public only three hours warning. Everyone gets (entertainingly) hysterical, except Randy. He uncovers the giant robot he built and sets his plan in motion. The robot ends up hitting the fireball like a baseball, all the way back to space. Randy may have never hit a home run, but he can build a giant robot that can hit the most important home run yet!
Van Dusen's story telling is funny and his illustrations are hilarious in their cartoon-like way. I love this character he has created in Randy; non-athletes will rejoice in him. He may not be able to hit a baseball, but he can save the world! Athletes and non-athletes alike will simply enjoy this entertaining story and root for Randy's success. While intended for younger audiences, if you have an older child struggling athletically, have him/her read this story to a younger sibling/child. It will definitely make them feel better.
Chris Van Dusen
Chris Van Dusen
2012, 32 pages
Excellent Read-Aloud, Exquisite Illustrations, Books for Boys, Sports, Determination, Rhyming Language
• Have you ever struggled in a sport? How?
• Which do you think was more important - that Randy couldn't hit a baseball or that he could build that robot? Why?
• Randy's favorite pastime is studying space. What is your favorite pastime?
• What do you think Randy will be when he grows up? Why?
• What do you think you will be when you grow up?
• What do you think would have happened if Randy had gone to bed as his parents suggested?
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