I am about to experience my first baseball game this Thursday, April 4th, and I’m jumping up and down with excitement. I’m still deciding what colors to wear for this Yankees v Red Sox game at the Yankee stadium. To get me all prepared, I was recommended the following picture book! Now I’m battered up and ready. Bring it on! Did I mention I am going with two Yankees fans and one Red Sox fan?!
Original lyrics by Jack Norworth
Illustrated by Alec Gillman
Published by Simon & Schuster, 1993
Themes: baseball, Brooklyn Dodgers, World Series, sports history, New York Yankees
The book tells the story, through the illustrations, of the 1947 classic world series game at Ebbets Field (Brooklyn) between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Yankees. The text, however, is the lyrics of a 1908 baseball song, which has become folkloric in this sport in the US. This is really a tribute to the song (which I understand will be learnt in many US preschools) and the game.
Why I like this book:
Here’s a great book of baseball history, for all baseball fans, or novices like myself.The multilayered text and illustrations must make this a favorite on many fans’ bookshelves. There are elements of history and trivia throughout, both in the beautiful early 1900’s illustrations and the fact boxes at the back of the book, e.g., the original song lyrics, line-up’s for both teams, back story of the rivalry, and an introduction by award winning writer and lover of all things baseball and New York history, Pete Hamill. There are some super details of early 20th century Brooklyn, which I very much appreciated. I was a little confused by the fact they seem to be wearing the same colors, hence my own indecision on what I should wear on Thursday. I have been promised peanuts and Cracker Jack and had a glimpse on pages 14-15 of what I will be consuming. It is very atmospheric and I am sure, to a true fan, this must bring a great dose of nostalgia to share with one’s kids.
Note: My Brooklyn library copy was faded, ripped, cello-taped and clearly well-read!
It’s a double bill on the blog today. Just to be fair to the two teams I shall be watching, I downloaded this chapter book, written by the seriously silly Alan Katz, when it was released last week. I proceeded to snort my way through the ludicrous LIEography of Babe Ruth. Recommended for 6 -9 year-olds (and adults) with a passion for baseball, and a warped and wicked sense of humour, plus a tendency to pathological lying. Check it out! You all know the real story of Babe Ruth, I probably never will, now that I have read this stupendously silly version. This is a must if you want to learn the true origins of the RED SOX nomenclature (originally the Boston Red Kintted Itchy Foot Coverings!)
The LIEography of Babe Ruth can be purchased at www.lieographies.com for the pricey pittance of $2.99.
My friend, Eric van Raepenbusch also has a wonderful baseball book review out today, HEY BATTA BATTA SWING! by Sally Cook, whose birthday it is today.
And in case you missed my poem on Facebook yesterday to celebrate the start of baseball season:
They said, “it’s just like cricket –
two teams, a bat and ball.”
But I can’t see the wicket,
and scores are very small!
P’raps the biggest difference lies
in what the public eat.
Hot dogs, beer and crackerjack,
or tea and scones their treat?