12 July 2011

Books for the All-Star Break: This is the Game by Diane Shore and Jessica Alexander

There is no shortage of nostalgic baseball picture books available; just run a search for different versions of Take Me Out to the Ballgame to prove the point. This is the Game, written by Diane Shore and Jessica Alexander and illustrated by Owen Smith, is a nice addition to the genre. It reads like a cumulative tale, not so much about the history of baseball, but about the excitement which builds from moment to moment during the course of an inning, a game, a season. The book covers familiar feel-good territory: back alley games of stick ball, Cracker Jack, trading cards, listening breathlessly around a radio. It works, because the rhyming text reads effortlessly, with no clumsy rhymes to get in the way of the love of the game, or the enjoyment of the reading. A handful of historic moments get a mention, but predominately the book is about the small moments in a fan's enjoyment that bring such joy. I also liked that the book ended with the words, "Play Ball!"because to me, as a fan, those words are full of fun and promise. Which is what This is the Game is ultimately building towards. A perfect read while we wait for the All-Star break to pass and the rest of the season to commence.

You can have a look inside the book here:

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