Posts Tagged With: children

Reblog Friday!

Welcome to the first Reblog Friday!

Today I am reposting a review of Mitchell Goes Bowling from KID LIT REVIEWS. This great review is highly descriptive, the book is hysterical, and the illustrations are charming. Mitchell is a member of a mixed-race family, and you can read more about that through the article linked at the very bottom of the post. Does anyone remember the first Mitchell book?

We all know that people of color are not well represented in the picture-book world. The only mixed-race character we ever saw in a picture book was Sam, the boy in A Balloon for Grandad by Nigel Gray and illustrated by the magnificent Jane Ray (this book is unfortunately out-of-print). I was so captivated by her illustrations that I hunted down copies of her books of Bible stories, cut out some of the pages, framed them, and hung them on my walls and in the boys’ rooms. I hope this destruction of a book is taken as the huge compliment it is!

And now, from KID LIT REVIEWS, Mitchell Goes Bowling by Hallie Durand! Enjoy!



review#411 – Mitchell Goes Bowling by Hallie Durand

Mitchell Goes Bowling.

Mitchell Goes Bowling

by Hallie Durand

Tony Fucile, illustrator

Candlewick Press

*Top 10 of 2013*

Inside Jacket: Mitchell loves to knock things down. . . . So one Saturday, his dad takes him bowling. Mitchell likes the special shoes and the loud crashing noises, but getting a strike isn’t as easy as his dad makes it look. There’s there’s the gutter, for starters, and the lanes are slippery, too. . . . Will Mitchell ever find a way to get an X on the scoreboard?

Opening:  Mitchell always knocked things down. That’s just how he rolled. He even tried to knock down his dad. . . . But one Saturday, when Mitchell was doing his thing, his dad caught him and put him in the car.


About the Story:  Looking a bit worried and definitely unsure, as he sat in the backseat all buckled up, Mitchell remained quiet. His face lit up when he saw the BOWL sign. The place was loud, smelled like pizza and had many differently colored balls lined up against the wall. Mitchell put on his cool rental shoes, picked out a bowling ball, and got to put his own name into the electronic scoreboard. Picking up the ball—the biggest one he could find—Mitchell threw it as hard as he could down the lane . . . gutterball. Taking his second turn, Mitchell rolled the ball and knocked down TWO pins. Battle on! Mitchell yelled to his dad. Dad got up and rolled a strike. Mitchell tried to imitate his dad. Didn’t help. Dad got another strike! Mitchell decided to use the air blower, just like his dad. Mitchell used it on his hands, his face, and his hair. Mitchell really wanted to win.


What I Thought:  Confession time. I love to bowl. I bowled more times than I could count on Saturdays. Mitchell Goes Bowling is right up my alley. I loved the illustrations. The motions and the atmosphere of the game are spot-on. The lanes had the correct dots in the correct spots, and even the boards were visible. The oil made Mitchell’s reflection visible. The motions Mitchell makes are easy to visualize thanks to swooshes, circles, and action words used.

I love the illustration of Mitchell slamming into his father’s legs, going nowhere. His aim was to knock his dad down. I also like Mitchell’s exuberance as he runs around the house knocking things down or through the air. The only one pleased is Mitchell. I hate to use this word but I am going to anyway: the illustrations are Adorable, with a capital A.


The story does not give Mitchell an age; it could be about any kid who loves to knock things down. His smart dad gets Mitchell out of the house before trouble begins and takes his son to a logical place for someone who loves to knock things down. Mitchell loves the bowling alley, and who can blame him. The place is bright, happy, and full of glory-yet-to-win. Dad is an obvious bowler, even wearing his bowling shirt on a nonleague night. So his strikes should come as no surprise, not even to Mitchell. What surprises Mitchell is his inability to cause a strike himself.

Mitchell Goes Bowling is hilarious and original, and has boyish charm. Anyone who bowls will love this book, especially if a young child went along. When Mitchell gets frustrated and announces he wants to leave, Dad knows exactly what to do. Mitchell gets his strike and can finally do the triple steamin’-hot-potato dance with salsa. Young children, who love sports and games, will like this book.


Young children, who enjoy funny picture books, will adore this picture book. Those who love endearing family moments will love Mitchell Goes Bowling. Reviewers who are entertained by wonderfully, hilarious picture books that make them constantly smile and giggle, will give Mitchell Goes Bowling twelve strikes!

This reviewer scores Mitchell Goes Bowling a perfect 300!




by Hallie Durand   website

Tony Fucile, illustrator    bio

Candlewick Press  website

Released 2013

ISBN:  978-0-7636-6049-9

32 Pages

Ages 3 to 7

© 2013 by Candlewick Press, used with permission

Text copyright © 2013 by Hallie Durand

Illustrations copyright © 2013 by Tony Fucile



mitchell bowling

Categories: Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Launch into the kidlitosphere!

Welcome to the first post of the blog For the love of kidlit!

I want to start by showing off the books that my kids and I loved reading the most when they were younger.


Some of these are award-winners, and some of these I never hear anyone talk about, like Lucy Cousins’s books. The one Maisy book in the photo represents the dozens that we read contantly. Both boys also loved the rhythm and lyricism in Jamberry, The Snowy Day, Chicken Soup with Riceand the poem that was written for A Magical Day with Matisse. My younger son Sam requested these all the way into elementary school.

That’s our second copy of Pat the Bunnyafter the first was maimed by all the baby fingers that found it so fascinating. The Tiger Has a Toothache is the only non-fiction selection, but the kids loved seeing all the different ways animals could be helped. Peppe the Lamplighter and A Dark, Dark Tale  (my older son Marty remembers this one as particularly scary!) were treasures I found at a library sale.

Missing from this photo are Sandra Boynton‘s books … I must have given them away! Also missing is Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? (I have an incredible video of Sam reciting this to himself before he was two, he couldn’t say some of the words… I’ll post it soon!) and The Caboose Who Got Looseone of my personal childhood favorites. I spent hours drawing Katy and the cabin in the trees. I was thrilled when I found it among the Bill Peet reprints in the store, along with reprints of Harry the Dirty Dog! I loved Harry and the bath and that sweater and the bird!

Does anyone else remember any of the other books? I have clear memories of reading Sylvester and the Magic Pebble when I was very little. The ending was thrilling every single time, and it thrilled me again when I read it to my boys.

What books did you love to read when you were little? What did you love to share with your kids?

Categories: Books we love | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at