Friday, September 09, 2022

Guy Friday: Around the World

Singleton, Chris and Burrell, Dean.
Baseball Around the World: How the World Plays the Game
June 17th 2022 by Bushel & Peck Books
Copy provided by the publisher

This picture book sized exploration of baseball is packed with information about this "American pastime" in different areas of the world! Beautifully formatted with plentiful vintage illustrations, it takes us to Cuba, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Italy, Nicauragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Japan, South Korea and Australia, all without a passport! Each two page spread covers one country, and includes information like quick stats, famous players, teams and their cities, and even favorite ball park stats! I especially appreciated that a section on what the sport is like in that country today. There are even fun facts, like information about Albert Spalding, the first woman player in professional baseball (Genevieve Beacom, in the Australian Baseball League in 2022), and information about Little League, complete with a roster of countries that play in the Little League World Series. 

This was an intriguing book to flip for that will interest sports aficionados who are fans of National Geographic atlases and "fun fact" books, or who want a more global look at baseball with similar information to Sports Illustrated's Baseball Then to Wow. There's so much information on a wide range of topics that include everything from the racial inequities in the early years of the sport to the philanthropic work in which players engage. The pictures from different countries will intrigue readers eager for travel, and the timelines at the bottom of the page are highly informative. 

This colorful book is a great introduction to the sport for the youngest fan (or parent of said child!), and the red, yellow, and blue cover is so attractive that I sort of want to make a sports themed quilt to go along with this in order to have a fantastic baby gift for an avid baseball fan! I know just the students to hand this to at my school.

Castaldo, Nancy F.  and Mihaly, Christy. 
Ultimate Food Atlas: Maps, Games, Recipes, and More for Hours of Delicious Fun 
September 6th 2022 by National Geographic Kids
Copy provided by Media Masters Publicity

Have you ever wanted to know about traditional French Polynesian desserts, different ways seafood is prepared around the world, or the most common food crops of Europe? This is the book for you! With handy references tabs to help you travel around the world, and maps to show you where you are, this Food Atlas really is the ultimate guide to all manner of tasty treats!

I would much rather read about food than cook it, and I was enthralled by the culinary offerings of so many different places. I enjoyed that there were some common themes, like local crops, food for various celebrations, and what I can only describe as "Dairy Around the World". My grandmother had a dairy farm, and I always thought that dairy products were more popular in the US-- tell that to people who are fans of Germany's Italian influenced spaghetti themed ice cream or South Africa's Melktert! 

National Geographic is always good about having information at the beginning of the book about how to use maps, and their extensive library of maps and images is put to good use.  Newer books from this company have been including more and more environmental information, which is an interest that many of my students now have. 

As much food history as I read, I still learned that the recipe for German Chocolate Cake, one of my father's favorites, was first published in 1957 in a Texas newspaper. While I make my frosting with walnuts, this explains why most of the recipes I've seen call for pecans!

If you, too, want to have your brain packed with tantalizing tidbits such as this, or if you just really crave a recipe for a Ugandan "Rolex Sandwich", look no further than this tasty tome written by veteran middle grade writers Castaldo and Mihaly.

1 comment:

  1. German Chocolate is one of my favorites too. That's what my wife makes for me every year for my birthday.