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Randy Riley's Really Big Hit
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Randy Riley's Really Big Hit

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  430 ratings  ·  103 reviews
Randy likes space, robots, and baseball, but he can't ace everything . . . or can he? Chris Van Dusen knocks one out of the park with a comical ode to ingenuity.

Randy Riley loves two things: science and baseball. When it comes to the solar system, the constellations, and all things robot, Randy is a genius. But on the baseball diamond? Not so much. He tries . . . but whiff
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Hardcover, 32 pages
Published February 14th 2012 by Candlewick
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Tammi Peterman
This is a primary book for independent reading.

I selected this book because of the students interest in sports especially baseball. The piece shows how Randy uses baseball to explore the world around him. Randy shows that he can apply Math skills to save the planet by calculating the projection of the path of the fireball just as he uses math to project the path of the baseball. The piece includes some vocabulary which may be new or challenging to the student creating an opportunity for student
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Bambini Travel
What do you get when you combine baseball and outer space? A humorous book that is out of this world. Randy Riley, much like the author and many kids, loves two things: science and baseball. Randy is a genius in many ways, but he cannot seem to hit the ball when he gets up to bat. One night however he sees a fireball through his telescope. It is headed straight towards his town and there is only one kid who can save the day. Rhymes, robots, and some unbelievable baseball make this read aloud a g ...more
Amy
This year, for National Poetry Month, I took an idea from Pinterest and did "Poetry Madness" with my 3rd graders. Essentially, this is like March Madness only with Poetry books. We started out with 12 books. In both my 3rd grade classes, the winning book was this one, hands down. (I don't think they communicated with each other about this either.) I decided to share it with my 2nd graders since it was so well received by the grade above. I watched them react as I turned each "50s-esque" illustra ...more
babyhippoface
Randy Riley just cannot seem to step up to home plate and get a hit. He understands the mathematics behind force and trajectory, he just can't master the physical aspects of batting. Good thing he has the science part down, though, because a giant fireball is headed toward Earth, and no one knows how to stop it. No one but Randy Riley, that is.

Randy constructs an enormous robot and preps it for emergency. When the fireball is about to crash into the ground, Riley commands his robot to take a mi
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Lindsey Mineweaser
Randy Riley got nervous every time he was up to bat because every time he got up to the plate he struck out. Although Randy Riley was never very good at baseball, he was very smart in science. One night while Randy Riley was looking at the sky, he realized that a massive fireball was going to crash into his hometown. Randy spent days building a giant robot to hit the fireball with a baseball bat and save the town.

This book is written like a poem. Each stanza has four lines. In those stanzas, the
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Rachel
Randy Riley’s Really Big Hit (Kindergarten-2nd grade students)

Randy Riley is a genius; he is great at math and a science whiz. He also loves baseball, but he’s just not very good at it. He misses the ball every time. One day after striking out in baseball, Randy Riley returns to his room to study outer space. He finds out some terrible news- a fireball is headed towards Earth! And if his calculations are correct, the fireball will hit his town in nineteen days! Randy Riley sets to work to find a
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Karah Webb
Randy Riley is a boy-genius who in hand loves baseball. This witty rhyming book is about how Randy Riley has the biggest home run ever and saves his town from what could have been, a massive disaster! This story is filled with great illustrations that are brilliantly done! A child would love to have this story read to them because on each and every page there is so much going on with in it! I can just picture myself reading this to my early preschoolers, and I know it would probably take me abou ...more
Lgourley
Randy wasn't good at baseball but he was really good at science stuff. He loved outer space. He was a genius. One night before Randy went to bed he looked in his telescope and seen a fireball heading straight to Earth. He calculated that it would crash into his town in 19 days! He tried telling his parents but they didn't believe him until they finally heard it on the news. Randy wanted to help but he was just a boy. What would happen? Would the fireball destroy his town?

This book is great for
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Angela
The pacing and the rhyme make this story about a super smart, space and robot-obsessed boy a real home run! Randy hasn't been successful at baseball--in fact, although he really enjoys playing, he's pretty terrible and always strikes out when he's up to bat. One night while looking through his telescope he sees a massive fireball headed straight towards Earth! Although he may not be able to hit a ball, he knows just what to do.

I won't spoil the story for you--just read it for yourself. Chris Va
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Cathy
Mar 15, 2015 Cathy rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Cathy by: California Young Reader Nominee 2015
Randy Riley loves two things: science and baseball. When it comes to the solar system, the constellations, and all things robot, Randy is a genius. But on the baseball diamond? Not so much. He tries . . . but whiffs every time. Then, one night, Randy sees something shocking through his Space Boy telescope: it’s a fireball, and it’s headed right for his town! Randy does the math, summons all of his science smarts, and devises a plan that will save the day in a spectacular way.

KA-POW! Kids love i
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Angela
The Candlewick description is spot on. A fun mix of space, robots, baseball and ingenuity. While Circus Ship is still my favorite, I welcome Van Dusen's illustrations to any story--they are bright, classy and fun.
Deann
This is a primary book. It would be intended for independent reading.

I chose this book because Haidyn showed he would like to know more about sports. This is a story about a boy who always strikes out when he is at bat. He showed interest in fantasy books. In the story a fire ball is headed toward the Earth and Randy has way to solve this problem.

This is the story of a boy who always strikes out when he is up to bat. A fire ball is headed toward Earth. Will Randy be able to come up with a plan
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Matthew
Similar to Weslandia in that Randy Riley is much more at home inventing and building than in the sport he plays, I liked this book for it's clever turns. I also liked that there was a certain element of peril involved and that Randy quite literally had a chance to use his skills to save the day. I think I could use this book for its encouraging message, and I'm sure the building component would resonate with the large group of Lego robotics students quite well. All in all, another great book.
Dani
This book is really for young children. It is an easy read with some tougher words in it. The author-illustrator did an amazing job with putting the pictures to the words. He really made this book come alive. It kept me as an adult interested in this book so I know young children would love this book as well. I think that a lot of children could relate to the main character in this book in many different ways. So this maybe something that would appeal to them. Overall I really liked this book an ...more
Jamie Short
1. What is your favorite thing to do? Do you have anything you love to do, but might not be very good at? Have you ever wanted to give up on it? Well, in the story “Randy Riley’s Really Big Hit” written and illustrated by Chris Van Dusen, Randy Riley loves to play baseball, but he always strikes out. He tries hard, but just can’t hit the ball and has lost games for his team. His teammates aren’t very excited about him playing, and he feels like giving up. But Randy is also very smart and realize ...more
Elizabeth Sherry
I am 21 years old and I truly loved this book. I even made my boyfriend sit and listen to me read it to him. This book is about a little boy who is not so good at baseball but is very gifted in math and science. It has a great lesson for children who are discouraged with something they are not very good at. It takes something that he is not good at and combines it with something he is good at to get a good result for himself. This would really encourage children to keep persisting through their ...more
Barbara
It's great to have a picture book written in rhyming text paying homage to the intellect rather than mere physical prowess. In this title, Randy Riley loves baseball despite being woefully inadequate at the sport. No matter how determined he is to hit the ball, when it comes over the plate, he inevitably swings and misses. (I like the idea that you don't have to be good at something to enjoy it.)Randy is fascinated by science and ponders the idea of outer space and messes around with his robots. ...more
Erin
Fun story: there nothing like a lovable geek who can't play sports coming to the rescue of all the other folks. My only quibble is that while the story could take place anytime, and the protagonist could be anyone (boy, girl, any color), the illustrations have a nice '60s feel to them, which means the Mom's in a dress and is knitting, while our hero (a boy, of course) is off being brilliant and heroic. A small fly in the ointment of my enjoyment.
Tim Vandenberg
LOVED this book! Chris Van Dusen's best so far! (please make more!) I've read a few of his other books, and this one really, really is a Big, Big Hit!

The rhyme, rhythm & poetic skill of Van Dusen really make the story move along in a fun & exciting manner. This book pulses joy, excitement, creativity, suspense, ingenuity, and Americana at its height! Van Dusen's art is dead-on, and the story grabs you and never lets you go until its satisfying ending. A Fun, Fun, Fun read!

I read this tog
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Yapha
Randy Riley is not good at baseball, but he is good at building robots, and he definitely knows a lot about space. This comes in handy as a giant fireball is hurtling through space towards his hometown. Told in rhyme, this will be a fun book for students who love baseball and those who love outer space. Recommended for grades K-2.

A California Young Readers Medal 2014-2015 Nominee.
Lauren Fogg
Randy Riley plays baseball, but not very well. He's more interested in the science involved in everything around him. Although Randy isn't very talented, he makes a discovery that challenges him to save his hometown. The story is told in a rhyme and incorporates vivid illustrations to display the action taking place.

The book gives the reader the idea that they can anything if they put their mind to it. Although Randy is a genius, he still needs to use his other interests (baseball) to become a
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Nanci Booher
I read this to the kids at school. I picked it out because 1) it rhymes and 2) it looks like spring in the story. But when I asked the kids why they thought I picked it, they thought it was because it was a story about never giving up...hmmmm outta the mouths of babes. A fun rhyming story that has something for everyone....humor, baseball and robots.
Shem Henrichsen
The theme of this book is determination. One example is how Randy keeps on trying to hit even though he can't. Another example is how he made the giant robot to save the town. An example of symbolism is the big fire ball. People should read this book because it shows how much someone will work to save what they love.
Caranna
I absolutely LOVED this book!

Chris Van Dusen truly has a gift for rhyme!

This is one of the funnest books I've ever read aloud, and believe me when I say I've read a lot.

Randy Riley loves baseball, but he's not very good at it. His mind is too mixed up in scientific notions and mathematical equations that by the time he's worked out the trajectory and perfect point at which to hit the ball he has already struck out.

But not too worry! Randy is able to use his mad science skills to really knock
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Renee
Looking for a good read aloud for a baseball theme - this is great! Funny, in rhyme and large format for all to see in a big group.
Kirsten
1.5
2 5
3 5
4 5


Chris Van Dusen hits another one out of the park. Great for storytime especially for robot theme or baseball.
Alexandra
Such a fun rhyming book about both science and baseball. We're getting into a robot phase around here too, so this book was great for that!
Ecl  Storytellers
A really fun robot story with baseball! Read this for K-2 and they were rapt. It felt long but rhyming ALWAYS helps with that.
Marika
Randy Riley is a genius too wrapped up in his own thoughts to be very good at baseball. When Randy spots a fireball through his telescope he quickly does the math- in 19 days the fireball will crash into Earth! Of course, no one believes him, so it's up to Randy to save the day! Drawing his love of robots and baseball together, Randy conceives of a singular device to save his town. This fast and fun story in verse will have kids begging, "read it again"! The real draw of this book, though, are V ...more
Sandi Roe
Randy Riley may not be great at baseball, but his love of Science and math help to save his town.
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Chris Van Dusen writes: “I was born in Portland, Maine, on St. Patrick’s Day, 1960. As a child, my brothers and I would spend hours drawing pictures. We didn’t have video games or computers to entertain us, so we drew instead. One of my brothers would sketch intricate war scenes. Another would draw animals so realistic you’d swear they were breathing. My specialty was aliens, robots, and monsters. ...more
More about Chris Van Dusen...
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