Monday, February 7, 2011

Play Ball, Jackie! by Stephen Krensky

Play Ball, Jackie! (Single Titles)
One of the first illustrations in this fabulous book is of Jackie Robinson sitting in the locker room tying his shoes.  We can only imagine what was going on in his head that day.   As the story unfolds we learn that Matty's dad got two tickets to the 1947 Dodger opening game from a co-worker who doesn't want to attend the game.  The co-worker does not want to see a black man play baseball.  The dad takes Matty out of school early and they see history being made.  The dad quietly explains why Jackie is having a hard time as a black man in baseball but there is hope in his words. We also see the baseball game going on, the fan's reactions in the stands and the history of black people in baseball.

The illustrations are lustrous and Jackie seems larger than life perhaps giving us a clue as to the enormity of this first of many days in the big leagues.  While the illustrations totally grab you in the story flows smoothly from history to converstation to baseball.  Included at the end are some real photos of Jackie, an author's note well worth reading, and suggestions for further reading.  This is a wonderful book for baseball fans of all ages and belongs in everyone's library. Read as an ebook arc courtesy of Lerner Publishing Group via Netgalley and will be available March 1, 2011.

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