Ballpark

Ballpark

by Elisha Cooper
     
 

If you think a ball game at a stadium is simply a matter of nine innings and a hot dog, you are in for a surprise. Come and join the players, coaches, vendors, reporters, umpires, groundskeepers, and fans, and find out what really happens before—and after—the magic begins.

Author Biography:

Elisha Cooper is the author of several books for adults,

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Overview

If you think a ball game at a stadium is simply a matter of nine innings and a hot dog, you are in for a surprise. Come and join the players, coaches, vendors, reporters, umpires, groundskeepers, and fans, and find out what really happens before—and after—the magic begins.

Author Biography:

Elisha Cooper is the author of several books for adults, including Henry, California: A Sketchbook, and A Year in New York. His books for children include Country Fair, Ballpark, and Building. Elisha Cooper lives in Berkeley, California.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Cooper embarks on another distinctively American outing as he records the activities at a stadium from early on the morning of a baseball game to its close. Much like his Country Fair, the author strikes an informality of tone and look that is reminiscent of a notebook (e.g., the type face mimics hand lettering, playfully arranged to suggest the circular motion of a clothes dryer or the arc of a hard-hit baseball; sketchy figures lack facial features; and barely legible scribbles label some of the people and objects pictured). Yet, unlike the inherently child-centered event of a fair, here Cooper inhabits a rather adult world, so readers may feel distanced from the all-American event. The account takes on a new energy at game time, when cheering crowds arrive and the on-field action begins, but still the observations are more sophisticated in nature (e.g. "the umpire and the manager get belly to belly.... They get personal, and kick dirt"). The most childlike portion of the text is saved for last, "Outside, against the wall of the park, a boy and a girl throw a ball until it's time for them to go home, too." This one may have some appeal for die-hard ball players, but will more likely appeal to older fans of Cooper's work. Ages 5-up. (Mar.)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 2In this slight offering, Cooper describes the activities that occur at a baseball stadium before and during a game. The text is handprinted and sometimes arranged in a circle or a square. The watercolor-and-pencil drawings of workers and players are tiny, cartoonlike replications without facial features or details. Some of the objects in the illustrations are labeled and terse dialogue appears next to some of the figures; sloppily scribbled in faded pencil, these words are barely legible. The book has an unfinished quality that is unlikely to hit home with young readers.Blair Christolon, Prince William Library, Manassas, VA
Christopher Lehmann-Haupt
Mr. Cooper catches it all here in whimsical watercolors. -- The New York Times
Horn Book Magazine
A trip to the ballpark can be an overwhelming experience-unless you know just what to look for. In his second picture book, Cooper depicts the minutiae of an outing in the same style as his Country Fair (rev. 9/97). Once again, the text is compact, child-centered free verse, and the pace is leisurely. We see the groundskeeper preparing the field, workers unloading boxes of peanuts, uniforms being washed, and players warming up. Eventually, the game gets underway, the home team wins, and the fans file out. The loose watercolor and pencil sketches show featureless people who often fade out into white space with only part of the body drawn. Cooper manages to convey character and emotion gesturally and with remarkable economy. Tiny penciled-in labels for some objects help clarify what is happening. The handwritten text may curve or swoop, showing the path of a ball or the slant of rain. Yes, it even rains during this game, and the players occupy themselves with cards or snacks while waiting out the shower. A small, quiet book, this is clearly no advertisement for the excitement of baseball. Instead, it's an invitation to observe everything closely, especially during those waiting-around times that are such a universal part of childhood. In the same way, the pay-back with this little book will come for those who keep looking, as each reading will reveal previously overlooked details. --Lolly Robinson
NY Times Book Review
What happens at an old-fasahioned, open-to-the-sky ball park on the day o fa baseball game? The story, told in small, graceful watercolor illustrations and simple text, begins in the early morning as a groundskeeper rides a red tractor around the infield, and continues through a day when play is interrupted by a cloudburst. Many details of the game, and the experience of going to the ball park, as well as a panorama of fans, players and support staff.
Kirkus Reviews
A second picture book from Cooper (Country Fair, 1997), cataloging the timeless pleasures of baseball. Small watercolor and pencil figures, intensely expressive in a few lines and blots of color, fill some pages but move to the lower border of spreads when the ballpark appearsþa wide green swath. Cooper's language is simple but evocative: the groundskeeper tasting a blade of grass, the locker room smelling of "cool lotion and warm feet," the batter gazing at the outfield as though "looking for birds," and the manager and umpire posing "belly to belly." Everything that might happen at a ball game, from a small furry creature on the field to a rain delay, is illustrated, as well as the hive of activity before, during, after (reporters sharpening pencils and booting up computers, players spitting sunflower seeds). Sports fans or not, spectators or athletes, children will be engaged for the full nine innings. (Picture book. 5-9)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780688157555
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/01/1998
Edition description:
1 ED
Pages:
40
Product dimensions:
8.36(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.41(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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