Roasted Peanuts by Tim EganFrom Bogey Bear
This is a warm, touching story about friendship, a kitty and a horsy that grew up together playing baseball, dreaming about making the pros.  The kitty, however, was never a particularly good player.  The horsy, however, was a standout start from the get-go and does reach the Big Leagues.  Did this create problems between these old friends?  Of course not, and it is actually the kitty that makes the most lasting mark in the game - a wonderful surprise ending.

About the Book
Sam and Jackson both agreed: nothing beat baseball. The crowds cheering, the bright green grass, the tasty roasted peanuts. Sam was an amazing athlete—very strong and fast, a big-leaguer in the making. Jackson, on the other hand, was not very strong or very fast at all. He could throw very far, but that was about it. When Sam makes the team and Jackson doesn’t, he misses having Jackson there on the field with him. And then he sees a poster...

Tim Egan has crafted a quirky tale of friendship and loyalty, complete with a late-inning nail biter that will keep baseball fans on the edge of their seats!

From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3 Jackson the cat and Sam the horse share a love of baseball, both watching and playing the game. Sam is a natural athlete, but Jackson is one of the slowest cats ever seen. Still, Sam encourages his buddy in his one skill throwing. When tryouts for the local team come around, Sam easily makes it, but Jackson doesn't.

Perhaps even worse, the feline's self-pity threatens Sam's happiness, and his performance. In the end, Jackson finds a way to use his talent in the stadium, supports his pal, and becomes a legend in his own right. More than a tale about baseball, this story is about the nature of true friendship, and about the ability to be happy about someone else's accomplishments. Egan's typically droll animal characters express emotions well. However, the ink-and-watercolor illustrations have a static quality that doesn't convey the movement of the game.

Still, the understated humor of the text lightens the message and makes the story more appealing as when the animal crowd yells at Sam, Go back to the farm! Baseball fanatics or not, most children will enjoy this charming tale.

Robin L. Gibson, Granville Parent Cooperative Preschool, OH Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist
Gr. 1-3. The expressions on Egan's tubby George and Martha-like figures add tongue-in-cheek undertones to this tale of friendship surviving adversity. Sam (a horse) and Jackson (a cat) both love baseball, but when the Grazers hold tryouts, only the athletically gifted Sam makes the team. Jackson's ensuing gloom doesn't lift until Sam persuades him to get a job as a peanut vendor at the stadium--where Jackson's ability to throw a bag with uncanny accuracy earns him celebrity status from the fans.

Culminating in an exciting game with a suitably goofy twist, this story will elicit chortles from young readers as well as an appreciation for the loyalty the differently talented buddies display.

John Peters Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

From Horn Book Horn Book
Egan's picture books tend to be characterized as offbeat, and this one certainly qualifies, but here the quirkiness doesn't overwhelm a rewarding story of friendship, fulfilling one's potential, and discovering one's best self.

From Center for Children's Books
It is the perfectly paced narrative arc and fully satisfying conclusion...that will guarantee it wide audience appeal.

From Christian Science Monitor
Egan's story...offers universal lessons about loyalty, persistence, and other character traits that make someone a real winner...It's a homerun.

About the Author
Tim Egan is the author and illustrator of several offbeat and humorous tales for children. He is consistently recognized for his individuality and delightful illustrations. Born in New Jersey, Tim moved to California to attend the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. He still lives in southern California with his wife, Ann, and their two sons. To learn more about Tim Egan, visit his Web site at For a complete list of books by Tim Egan, visit his website.