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The Great Ball Game

How Bat Settles the Rivalry between the Animals and the Birds; A Circle Round Book

By Rebecca Sheir

Illustrated by Joshua Pawis-Steckley

The Great Ball Game, a classic folktale originating from the Cherokee, Creek, Ojibway and Menominee people of North America, is adapted for a contemporary audience by Rebecca Sheir, host of the award-winning Circle Round podcast, and accompanied by the vibrant illustrations of Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley, an Ojibwe Woodland artist. A dispute between the animals and the birds over who is best leads to a ball game challenge. When the game is disrupted by the arrival of a tiny creature named Bat, who doesn't seem to fit on either team, all the participants learn the value of diversity and celebrating those who seem "different." The accompanying activities and prompts encourage children to develop their own storytelling skills.


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Meet the Authors
Rebecca Sheir headshot

Rebecca Sheir

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Joshua Pawis-Steckley headshot

Joshua Pawis-Steckley

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Review quotes
"This engaging tale shows how truly embracing our unique gifts and differences makes a community stronger. Stick around at the end for a bundle of sweet activity prompts designed to get kids running like deer, thinking like owls, and dancing like frogs." —  Kathleen Yale, author of Howl Like a Wolf

"This charming book about standing out and fitting in contains several empowering messages: “Be yourself.” “Appreciate the unique qualities of everyone.” “We all have something to share.” The text hums along beautifully and the illustrations are simply delightful. The Great Ball Game is a hit out of the ballpark!" — Lesléa Newman, author of Alicia and the Hurricane: A Story of Puerto Rico/Alicia y el huracán: Un cuento de Puerto Rico

"Rebecca Sheir has a gift for creating magical, evocative worlds for children (and their grown-ups!) The storytelling power in this book will leave you delighted and inspired and entertained!" — Guy Raz, Wow in the World and How I Built This

“Whether picture book or podcast, Rebecca Sheir has a unique way of dusting off traditional folktales, making them feel fresh and modern to a new generation of kids and families. Her exquisite storytelling told with both heart and humor, and the generous offering of extension activities keep these stories resonating through imaginations long after the closing words.” — Mindy Thomas, Wow in the World

"I love the respect that Rebecca and the Circle Round team have for kids. They create kind and joyful worlds for families that are always a welcome (and entertaining!) place to visit." — Lee Overtree, Story Pirates

“In a time where storytelling can be considered a lost art, Circle Round is giving the world an opportunity to gather round again. While Circle Round’s books will be entertaining for kids, I imagine that the kid in all of us will find these books insightful and enjoyable too!” — Kelly Jenrette, Emmy-nominated actress and co-author of The Adventures of Jimmy the Fly
Product Details
Age range
5 - 99
Grade range
K - 17
Circle Round
Number of pages
Publication date
November 08, 2022