Baseball Is…by Louise Borden, illustrated by Raúl Colón
published in 2014 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
From the first cry, “Play ball!” and the opening pitch. Through the crack of the bat, the line drive, a runner sliding into home plate, the umpire’s arms flashing “Safe!”
From vendors hawking peanuts to the seventh-inning stretch. Pennants and popcorn. Dugouts and double plays.
Baseball is our American pastime, and Louise Borden has written what has to be the quintessential homage to it in this book.
She loves this game. That breathes through her entire, free-verse text. This is a romance, an ode.
She knows this game, and she knows what you love about it, too. It’s all, remarkably, here. History and atmosphere, stats and stadiums, the sounds, the sights, the tangibles and intangibles, everything you adore about baseball.
Raúl Colón’s always-stunning illustrations capture the nostalgia, the personalities, the feel of being a fan in the stadium, perfectly.
I must say, I haven’t been much of a baseball fan since the 60s when we’d hang over the wall of the old Met Stadium in Bloomington to get some Twins’ autographs — and still — this book worked its magic on me.
I know plenty of folk who are mad about baseball, and for any of you — this is a gem you don’t want to miss. Ages 5 to 100! I’m hoping this one will get some awards this year.