Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyMiddle-graders who are more apt to gravitate toward playing fields than libraries are the prime audience for this well-pitched photo-essay. Crisp, conversational text and energetic photos follow 13-year-old Kenny Garibaldi through a grueling yet gratifying 14-hour day as batboy for the San Francisco Giants' spring training in Arizona. Kenny performs such less-than-glamorous tasks as cleaning the mud from players' shoes, carrying their dirty uniforms to the laundry room and stocking the lockers. But a batboy's lot is not all drudgery: Kenny shares a slice of pizza with the visiting Willie Mays, lines up next to the Giants as the national anthem plays and rushes on-field to retrieve thrown bats and helmets. Besides describing Kenny's enticing job, Anderson (Cowboys) briskly portrays the rigors of spring training and takes a quick detour through the farm teams. The selection of pictures by newspaper photographer Cavanaugh strikes a pleasing balance of behind-the-scenes and on-field shots, alternating also between portraits of Kenny and larger views of the ballpark milieu. Sure to hit home with its audience. Ages 8-12. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Marilyn CourtotFor every kid who has dreamed of being a batboy, this book will be a hit. Young Kenny is a top student, and his love is baseball. He is one of the fortunate few to work as a batboy. As Anderson and Cavanaugh tell and show in this account, most of the work is not glamorous. Kenny sorts uniforms, delivers fan mail, cleans shoes, and does lots of other mundane tasks. But it is all worth it when he gets to meet the great players, and when he stands with the team during the playing of the national anthem.
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 4-6-Although there are several books on the subject available, this one focuses on an actual team (the San Francisco Giants) during spring training. Each aspect of batboy Kenny Garibaldi's day is depicted in the crisply written text and colorful, clear photographs. Anderson captures the atmosphere in the clubhouse and conveys the hard work that goes into being a professional baseball player; and, more importantly, the long hours and drudgery involved in being an effective batboy. The only glamour associated with Kenny's job comes from the proximity to the players (most of whom ignore him). The text and pictures mesh wonderfully, making this an enjoyable book for any young baseball fan.-Todd Morning, Schaumburg Township Public Library, IL
Lauren PetersonStories of sports heroes abound, but this sports photo-essay turns the spotlight on 13-year-old Kenny Garibaldi, batboy for the San Francisco Giants. Text and full-color pictures follow Kenny through a typical day, beginning with his arrival at the clubhouse with his neighbor, star catcher Kirt Manwaring. Rubbing elbows with the players and picking up tips on improving his playing is the exciting part of the job, but Anderson balances that with a view of tedious tasks, such as sorting uniforms, taking out the garbage, and scraping mud from a never-ending pile of shoes. Readers also get some inside perspective on a major-league team's spring training. A real gem for baseball fans and aspiring players, who will delight in seeing someone their own age so intimately involved in professional ball.
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