Don and Donna Go to Bat
Author: Al Perkins
Illustrator: B. Tobey
Published: Random House, 1966
About The Author
Al Perkins is an author of several children's books, including Hand, Hand, Fingers Thumb, The Digging-est Dog and The Ear Book. He also wrote early titles in the Beginner Books and Bright and Early series.
Don and Donna were identical twins. They looked exactly alike except for the length of their hair and the clothes that they wore.
Don loved baseball and he always dreamed of playing on a real baseball team. Don taught Donna how to throw a ball the way a boy throws it. He taught her how to slide into base and how to hold a baseball bat. Don eventually got tired of playing baseball with his sister and wanted to play on a real team with other boys. He found a team to play on and they made him captain of the team!
One day a team from the other side of town challenged Don's team to a game. The captain of the winning team would receive a large trophy. On the morning of the big game, Don woke up sick. The doctor came to the house and told Don he would not be playing in the baseball game that day.
Don asked Donna to take his uniform and equipment to the field for the other boys to use. Donna could not carry all the stuff on her bike so she slipped on the uniform over her dress. When she arrived at the baseball field, everyone thought that Donna was Don. She took Don's place on the field but did not play very well...until she came up to bat at the very end of the game. She closed her eyes and swung the bat.
Yes, Donna scored the winning run and Don's team received the trophy. When the team found out that it was really Donna that hit the winning run, they gave her the large silver trophy. They also made her manager of the team where she was responsible for taking care of the equipment, keeping the water bucket full and keeping score.
The setting for this story is the early 1960s but kids today still love to play baseball. I think this story is a great example of sibling support and love. Donna was sad when Don went to play on a boy's baseball team and left her behind.
Girls were expected to play softball, throw the ball underhanded and were discouraged from sliding into bases. Don taught Donna to play like a boy so she was prepared to take his place in the game.
I think it is interesting that Donna was given the "honor" of being the team manager. That was as close as a girl could get to playing on a boy's team. She had just as much skill as the boys but was the wrong gender. The more things change the more they stay the same.
My Rating: 5 Stars Out Of 5
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