Rocky Raccoon and His Raiders Vs. The Prowlers
by Janet H. Councilman

"Our big day is tomorrow and I want to impress upon each of you that playing fair is the most important rule we have."

This tale from veteran author Councilman follows Rocky Raccoon and his team, the Raiders, as they prepare for the last basketball game of the season. They are expected to face the Prowlers, a much bigger team. Ricky and his teammates have a great practice, help decorate the school, and feel confident that their speed and fair play will help them make their coach, family, and community proud. The game is a fast-paced, back-and-forth affair. The Raiders practice fairness in all aspects and spread the ball and shots throughout the team. In contrast, each of the Prowlers players wants to be the star of the game. As a result, they are more selfish in their gameplay. The game comes down to the final minutes of play.

Councilman's book is an easy reader along the lines of the classic Frog and Toad. The vocabulary will introduce young readers to several new words, which may require a parent's assistance to help the children discover their meanings. The book has an overall theme of fairness. Many parents may find this book helpful to teach their children about this character trait. There is also very little conflict between the teams except for the score, an aspect that might appeal especially to parents who are tired of storylines that feature a large amount of interpersonal drama. Additionally, most young readers enjoy stories with animals, and the sports theme can be used to attract readers with a similar interest. Early and intermediate readers are likely to find something here to like.

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