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Literature / Batter Up Wombat

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Batter Up, Wombat is a 2006 children's book written by Helen Lester and illustrated by Lynn Munsinger.

A wombat, newly arrived from Australia, joins a failing baseball team without properly understanding the rules, causing trouble on the field. When disaster strikes, can the wombat prove his usefulness?

This book includes examples of the following tropes:

  • Ironic Name: The Champs, the baseball team the story follows, are terrible at their sport. When they meet the wombat, they mistake him for a great hitter (wham-bat) and immediately beg him to join.
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  • Literal-Minded: Some of the trouble the Champs have trying to coach their newest member comes from his taking their instructions literally, as he's not familiar with the jargon of baseball. Thus, when told to catch a fly, he goes after insects rather than balls and when his teammates tell him to run home, he thinks they mean Australia.
  • No Name Given: No one ever receives a name. They're just called by their species names or titles.
  • Rascally Raccoon: The Masked Bandits are less mean than many examples, but they do openly celebrate not having been able to recruit the wombat when his literal-mindedness begins hindering the Champs.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: How many times do you see a wombat in a children's book?
  • Tunnel King: Wombats can dig very big tunnels, which comes in handy when a tornado interrupts the Champs vs. Masked Bandits game and the teams have no dugout whence to retreat.

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