“Pickleball Pete” by Pamela R. Lott

“Pickleball Pete” by Pamela R. Lott 791 1024 Reader Views Kids

Pickleball Pete: A Tale of Good Sportsmanship

Pamela R. Lott
Archway Publishing (2023)
ISBN 978-1665749497
Reviewed by Jill Rey for Reader Views (02/2024)

Pickleball is one of the fastest-growing paddle sports. Everyone from celebrities, retirees, and neighbors next door is picking up on the fun and exciting sport sweeping the nation.  But what is pickleball, is there a literal pickle involved, what are the rules, and who can play?  Author Pamela R. Lott embraces the pickleball name and gives readers a fun, energetic, and friendly pickle named Pete to give us some lessons in “Pickleball Pete: A Tale of Good Sportsmanship.”

Pickleball Pete loves pickleball, but he needs four players for a game.  Pete finds Dexter the Dog, Karina the sweet old kangaroo, and beginner Betty the Bear.  The four of them are all very different, with different skill levels, motivations, and understanding of the game.  Dexter is driven by winning, Karina is enthused by exercise and new friends, and Betty hopes to learn the game so pickleball can be a new hobby in her life.  After partners are decided, two on each side of the net, the game begins. 

It is clear Dexter is here to win while Pete enjoys encouraging the players and tapping paddles after good plays.  Dexter’s desire to win at all costs causes the fun and fairness to be missing from the game as Pete must explain to him that kids aren’t going to want to play with individuals who yell, get angry, and only want to win.  Pickleball is a team sport, one that can’t be played by oneself so it’s important to be a good sport and allow everyone to have fun.

 Once Dexter comes to understand the need to be a good sport, the pickleball game quickly becomes more enjoyable for all.  Betty can learn so much about the sport, like why there are three numbers in the score of two teams, such as 11-2-1.  Something I, like Betty, did not understand either – the crucial third number is for server number one or number two. 

Bright, colorful, fun, and exciting, “Pickleball Pete: A Tale of Good Sportsmanship” is a great read.  Alternating between words on a rainbow-covered page and illustrations of the action on the pickleball court, Pamela R. Lott does an incredible job showing readers a sport they may be unfamiliar with while imparting an essential message for all athletes.  Karina, Betty, Pete, and even Dexter will have you wanting to grab a paddle of your own to hit the court and play this fun and growing sport.

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