Sunday, April 03, 2016

Happy Opening Day!

Because I am SUCH the sports fan! This was a fascinating read even though I haven't been to a baseball game since my brother was in Little League in the 1970s. My refrain is always "Go sports! Do the thing! Win the points!" 

25739032Winter, Jonah and Blitt, Barry. You Never Heard of Casey Stengel?
March 8th 2016 by Schwartz & Wade

In this lengthy picture book, the life and times of the inimitable Stengel is given complete coverage. From his less than stellar playing days to the controversies of his coaching career, Stengel's various eccentricities are covered with affection and humor. I hadn't known anything about this legendary coach, and was vastly amused by how outspoken and outrageous he was. Sometimes this worked for him, but other times it didn't, and the reader is given enough information to draw personal conclusions about whether or not Stengel was successful at what he set out to do. 

The pictures are rendered in an exuberant line-drawing style with liberal use of blue and red gives this a feeling of being out on the baseball field in the bright sunshine. Readers will laugh at scenes with Casey in his boxers, and wonder how someone who seemingly should have had so little success was able to become the center of the baseball universe in the 1960s.

The message of believing in oneself and persevering through difficulties is clear, but there is a slight feeling that perhaps Stengel didn't help himself by being so difficult. While the age range on this book is given as 4-8, I think that even tween and teen readers will find a lot to take away from this book. I'm very curious to read You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?! and You Never Heard of Willie Mays?!, also by these authors.

1 comment:

  1. The Sandy Koufax and Willie Mays books are excellent; I would love a Lou Gehrig book by Stengel (in the same vein).