Matthew and the Midnight Ball Game


32 pages
ISBN 0-7737-5853-4
DDC jC813'.54




Illustrations by Michael Martchenko
Reviewed by Ted McGee

Ted McGee is an associate professor of English specializing in
children’s literature at St. Jerome’s College, University of


These two books present the adventurous and sometimes zany dreams of a
young boy who joins the Toronto Turkeys for a game at the SkyDome and
participates in the air show thanks to the midnight pilot and urban

Part of the fun of both books comes from seeing how Matthew’s waking
life is transformed in his dreams. His mother’s mild rebuke,
“Matthew, don’t be a turkey! ... Stop bouncing the ball on the
house,” prompts the boy’s subconscious to produce a whole team of
turkeys in colorful shorts and spats, collars and ties, stetsons and
baseball caps, uniforms and underwear. Similarly, in Matthew and the
Midnight Pilot, the desire of Matthew’s mother to receive some work by
courier informs the plot and happy ending.

Michael Martchenko’s cartoon-style illustrations reinforce both the
story’s Toronto setting and the madcap nature of Matthew’s dreams.
The strong, happy bond between Matthew and his mother adds to the appeal
of both stories. Recommended.


Morgan, Allen., “Matthew and the Midnight Ball Game,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 22, 2024,