Pickleball Pete

A Tale of Good Sportsmanship

Children - Picture Book
54 Pages
Reviewed on 02/01/2024
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Astrid Iustulin for Readers' Favorite

Pete loves playing pickleball because he wants to have fun and become a good player. Alongside him, we find Betty the Bear, who recently started playing pickleball, Dexter the Dog, and Karina, an elderly kangaroo. From the beginning, Dexter makes it clear that winning is the only thing that matters to him. He wants Karina as his partner because Betty is inexperienced and would make him lose. However, even if they are winning, Dexter criticizes Karina while they play. Things get worse and worse until Dexter flies into a rage and storms out of the court. Pete joins him and explains something very important to him. Do you want to know what? Find out in the beautiful children's book Pickleball Pete: A Tale of Good Sportsmanship by Pamela R. Lott.

Pamela R. Lott tells young readers a great story and teaches them what it means to be a good sport. It is not pleasant to play with someone who gets angry and only wants to win; on the contrary, playing sports should be fun even if (as in Betty's case) not even the score is clear. Pickleball Pete tells the best sports story I have ever read, and I am sure kids will enjoy it. I recommend looking at the images carefully because they are beautiful and represent the pivotal moments of the story very well. I invite all young readers who love sports, and pickleball in particular, to read this book for the valuable lessons they can get from it.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

I didn’t realize you had to be a pickle to play pickleball. In Pamela R. Lott’s Pickleball Pete, the main character, Pickleball Pete, is passionate about playing pickleball and he’s a pickle! He’s also a good sport. When partnered with Betty the Bear, a new pickleball player, he knows he doesn’t stand a chance of winning the game, but that doesn’t matter. He already knows, even though Dexter the Dog, one of the other players, doesn’t, that “Winning isn’t everything. It’s important to be a good sport… and have fun!” Besides, he reasons, “If you had fun…you won!” Good sportsmanship is what’s most important in any game and it’s hard to find these days.

In Pamela R. Lott’s picture book, Pickleball Pete: A Tale of Good Sportsmanship, the real winners are those who play fair and with care for their fellow players. The plot follows the four pickleball team players through a game of pickleball and clearly demonstrates the contrasting characters of those who play for fun and those who play to win. The language is simple so young readers can easily follow along. The illustrations are bright, bold, colorful, and full of life and energy, helping the story move forward. At the end of the story, there’s an activity page to color, showing the four pickleball team players. A great way to teach good manners both on and off the court of any game. Pickleball Pete will certainly inspire young readers to be good sports in every game they play.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

Pickleball Pete by Pamela R. Lott is 'A Tale of Good Sportsmanship.' Pickleball Pete loves playing pickleball and plays whenever possible. One day, he gets together with three others to play a game: Dexter the Dog, Karina the Kangaroo, and Betty the Bear. Dexter always plays to win, and he’s a bad loser. Karina loves meeting other people, and Betty is a complete newbie. Pete and Betty pair up against Dexter and Karina. However, things aren’t as fun as they should be. Lots of problems arise, but Pickleball Pete manages to calm things down and show Dexter that "if you had fun, you won."

Pickleball Pete by Pamela R. Lott is a wonderfully illustrated story that is fun to read but offers several lessons at the same time. The main lesson here is about good sportsmanship, and learning that not everything is about winning. It also teaches young readers about respecting others, and that having fun is the best way to play a sport, especially one like pickleball. The four main characters were very different, but they represent people almost all of us already know, and they were very well created. The book also contains lots of information about pickleball, explaining how it is played, and is an excellent introduction to the sport. The addition of a coloring page at the end of the book is a nice touch for kids, too. A thoroughly enjoyable book that should be read in schools and by reading groups everywhere!

Kristine Zimmerman

Pickleball is everywhere right now. Pamela R. Lott's children's book, Pickleball Pete: A Tale of Good Sportsmanship, briefly introduces this popular sport. Pickleball Pete is excited to play a game of pickleball. He is joined by three other players who have varying degrees of experience. Dexter loves to win, Karina enjoys the social aspect, and Betty is a beginner. They pair up, and the game begins. Because Dexter only cares about winning, he yells at his partner Karina when a point is missed. Pete, on the other hand, encourages Betty even when she hits a bad shot. Things come to a head, and Dexter walks off the court. Will Pete be able to convince him to come back?

Learning to be a good sport takes practice. Pickleball Pete: A Tale of Good Sportsmanship is a fun story that demonstrates how to be a good sport, win or lose. Pamela R. Lott has also incorporated a little introduction to pickleball, touching on scoring and equipment. The illustrations by Gennel Marie Sollano are clean and crisp. They do a fine job of depicting the pickleball players and the court. All the players are animals except Pickleball Pete, who, amusingly, is a pickle! The lessons about encouraging beginning players and playing for fun will transfer seamlessly to any sport that kids play. Pamela has written an engaging story that also imparts the importance of sportsmanship. Pickleball Pete is an inviting way to introduce the game of pickleball to young readers and the concept of being a fair sport to young players of any sport.