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Bats at the Ballgame


Bats at the Ballgame

Alethea Allarey

Official Links


Written and illustrated by Brian Lies

Houghton Mifflin Company, 2010

2013-2014 Nominee - Primary


There’s an innate magic to baseball stadiums, and the bats in this book wing at dusk to watch their favorite team play baseball under a glorious circus tent where the spectator bats cling to the roof. The baseball game brings many delights to the bat fans; they enjoy the beauty of the pristine field, the tasty treats being sold (Cricket Jacks and mothdogs!), the memories of favorite players from the past, and the batting and flying skills of the players. 

When the game gets close in the late innings, the tension builds in the stadium as the fans pull for the home team to win. As morning arrives, the bats wing home, delirious with their surprising victory and anxious for the next game.

Meet the Author and Illustrator

Imagination has always played an important role in the life of Brian Lies (his last name rhymes with “cheese”). As a child, he loved to be in nature, building dams and forts in the woods. He also enjoyed spending hours writing and drawing with his sister. He pursued his passions of language and art in his college education, first attending Brown University, where he studied psychology and British and American Literature.

Following his graduation from Brown, he studied drawing and painting at the Boston Museum School. He began his career as an editorial and political illustrator for magazines and newspapers, eventually pursuing illustration for children’s books in the late 1980s.

Today, he has illustrated over 25 books, and written and illustrated five books, three of which are his enormously popular and critically acclaimed bat picture books: Bats at the Beach, Bats at the Library, and Bats at the Ballgame. Today Mr. Lies lives in Massachusetts with his wife, daughter, and two cats. In addition to reading and drawing, he enjoys biking, woodworking, tending his vegetable garden, and making food the old-fashioned way.

To learn more about Brian Lies, visit his webpage at


  • Imagine you lived 100 years ago (think back to a time with no video games and television!): what did most kids do after school and what sport did families watch together? (Hint: It was called “America’s pastime”) 
  • Have you ever played baseball? 
  • Now think about bats playing baseball—how would the game be similar and different to the way people play baseball? 
  • What special capabilities do bats have?


Bat Stories


Picture Books
Bats at the Beach by Brian Lies, Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006.
The Bat in the Boot by Annie Cannon, Orchard Books, 1996.
Bats in the Library by Brian Lies, Houghton Mifflin Company, 2008.
Batty Riddles by Katy Hall and Lisa Eisenberg, Puffin Books, 1997.
Bed, Bats, and Beyond by Joan Holub, Darby Creek Publishing, 2008.
Stellaluna by Janell Canon, Harcourt Brace, 1993.

Chapter Books
The Bat-Poet by Maurice Sendak, Macmillan, 1964.
Gregor the Overlander series by Suzanne Collins, Scholastic Press, 2003.
Poppy and Ereth by Avi, HarperCollins Publishers, 2009.


Bat Loves the Night by Nicola Davies, Candlewick Press, 2001.
Bats by Ann Heinrichs
Hello, Bumblebee Bat by Darrin Lunde, Charlesbridge, 2007.
Little Bat Lost by Sandra Markle, Charlesbridge, 2006.

Baseball Stories


Chapter Books
Baseball time travel books by Dan Gutman, including The Babe and Me
Baseball, Avon, 2000.
Baseball books by Mike Lupica including Heat, Philomel Books, 2006.
Baseball books by John Ritter including The Boy Who Saved Baseball, Philomel Books, 2003.
Baseball books by Matt Christopher including Return of the Home Run Kid, Little, Brown, 1992.
The Aurora County All Stars by Deborah Wiles, Harcourt, 2007.
A Diamond in the Desert by Kathryn Fitzmaurice, Viking, 2012.
Joey Pigza Loses Control by Jack Gantos, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2000.
Penny From Heaven by Jennifer L. Holm, Random House Children’s House, 2006.
Scaredy-Cat Catcher by Betty Hicks, Roaring Brooks Press, 2009.
Six Innings: A Game in the Life by James Preller, Feiwel & Friends, 2008.
Summerland by Michael Chabon, Talk Miramax Books/Hyperion Books for Children, 2002.
Swindle by Gordon Korman, Scholastic Press, 2008.
The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt, Clarion Press, 2007.
In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson by Bette Bao Lord, Harper & Row, 1984.


Picture Books
All Star! Honus Wagner and the Most Famous Baseball Card Ever by Jane Yolen, Philomel, 2010.
Baseball Saved Us by Ken Mochizuki, Lee & Low, 1993.
Brothers at Bat: The True Story of an Amazing All-Brother Baseball Team by Audrey Vernick, Clarion Books, 2012.
No Easy Way: The Story of Ted Williams and the Last .400 Baseball Season by Fred Bowen, Dutton Children’s Books, 2010.
Roberto Clemente: The Pride of the Pittsburgh Pirates by Jonah Winter, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2005.
Satchel Paige by Lisa Cline-Ransome, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2000.
She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story by Audrey Vernick, HarperCollins, 2010.
Testing the Ice: A True Story About Jackie Robinson by Sharon Robinson, Scholastic Press, 2009.
You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?! by Jonah Winter, Schwartz & Wade Books, 2009.

Becoming Joe DiMaggio by Maria Testa, Candlewick Press, 2002.
Casey at the Bat by Ernst Lawrence Thayer, D.R. Godine, 1988.

Longer Nonfiction Books
Baseball’s Best Shots: The Greatest Baseball Photography of All Time, forward by Johnny Bench, DK Publishing, 2000.
Long Ball: The Legend and Lore of the Home Run by Mark Stewart and Mike Kennedy, Millbrook Press, 2006.
Sports Illustrated The Baseball Book Expanded Edition edited by Rob Fleder, Time Home Entertainment Inc., 2011.
We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball by Kadir Nelson, Jump at the Sun/Hyperion Books for Children, 2008

For more information, please check the 2013-2014 Resource Guide - Primary.

Book Trailer