The Great Ball Game

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


By Rebecca Sheir

Illustrated by Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley

Formats and Prices




$19.99 CAD



  1. Hardcover $14.99 $19.99 CAD
  2. ebook $9.99 $12.99 CAD

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.



  • "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

On Sale
Nov 8, 2022
Page Count
44 pages

Rebecca Sheir

About the Author

Rebecca Sheir is the author of the Circle Round books The Tale of the Unwelcome Guest, A Taste of Honey, and The Great Ball Game, and the host, writer, and producer of the Circle Round storytelling podcast. Distributed by WBUR (Boston's NPR station), Circle Round is heard in all 50 states and nearly 200 countries and has been featured in the New York Times, The Washington Post, and TIME. Sheir has also brought thousands of stories to life as a news reporter on public-radio shows like Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Here & Now, The Splendid Table, and Marketplace. She lives in western Massachusetts with her husband and son.   

Nikita Abuya is a digital illustrator and graphic designer from Nairobi, Kenya. Her work celebrates the current generation in pop culture and fashion, as well as aspects from her African heritage.

Learn more about this author