The Boys by Jeff Newman, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
The Boys
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The Boys

3.6 3
by Jeff Newman
     
 

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This wordless picture book tells the story of a quiet boy working to overcome his shyness and finding the courage to play baseball with the other kids in the park... With the help of a few old timers from the nearby park bench, our boy is coaxed out of his shell and into the game. Beautifully illustrated, this is the story about the young finding out how much fun

Overview

This wordless picture book tells the story of a quiet boy working to overcome his shyness and finding the courage to play baseball with the other kids in the park... With the help of a few old timers from the nearby park bench, our boy is coaxed out of his shell and into the game. Beautifully illustrated, this is the story about the young finding out how much fun it is to live life... And the old finding out how much life there still is to love.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
A young boy seems to be moving into a new home as this textless story begins. It is Tuesday when he puts on his shoes and cap and takes his bat and mitt to the local park, where a baseball game is already in progress. Then, he goes slowly and sadly over to sit on a bench with an odd assortment of older men. On Wednesday, he joins them with some books, as the fellow in the middle had been reading; on Thursday, when he dons loud pink plaid pants, they are puzzled. On Friday, having added to his costume, he is depressed to find the bench empty. He is astounded to see the men playing like kids at the nearby playground. On Saturday they ride by him on bikes and cars. Sunday he watches angrily from the bench as they seem to have formed a baseball team; then he notices they have left him a cap and bat. He practices with them with gusto. After a rainy Monday, on Tuesday he is welcomed to play in the kids' game to his delight and that of his friends from the bench. Newman leaves most of his pages white; his gouache and ink cartoon-y characters do almost the entire storytelling with minimal props. Close reading is needed to "get" the story; the final interpretation leaves a lot to the reader. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Publishers Weekly
Newman’s story opens with a picture of a moving van and one piece of information: Tuesday. That day, a blond boy stares out at a city park where kids play baseball and four elderly men share a bench. Drooping his head and dragging a bat, the boy approaches the bench and plops down. Wednesday, the boy leaves his sports gear behind and feeds the pigeons. The old men shrug. Thursday, the boy wears retiree-style plaid pants. The men eye each other. That weekend, the boy arrives to an empty bench: his pals are on the playground, showing him, to hilarious effect, how the business of being a kid is conducted—namely riding bikes and playing on the jungle gym. A game of baseball with the men finally gives the boy confidence to approach people his own age. Employing sly visual humor, Newman (Hippo! No, Rhino) presents the narrative in sketchy, retro-flavored gouache brushstrokes on a white background. This is a quirky book, but sensitive readers will appreciate the child’s shyness and the men’s efforts to help him remember what it means to be a kid. Ages 4–8. (Feb.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—On Tuesday (the only words in the book are the days of the week), a new boy in the neighborhood wants to play baseball with the other kids but is too shy. He glumly sits on a park bench that is occupied by four very diverse men. On Wednesday, he goes back to the park bench. The old men are puzzled about why the child is there. Thursday, he returns with gray streaks in his hair and old-man clothes. Friday, the men are gone, and now the boy is puzzled. He sees them romping on the playground equipment. Saturday, he finds a bicycle by the park bench and sees the men riding around on children's vehicles. So far, the boy is missing all the clues that the men are leaving for him. Sunday, the men come to the park with baseball equipment. They go off to play, leaving a bat, ball, and cap on the bench. The boy finally gets the hint, picks up the equipment, goes to the diamond, and hits the ball out of the park. That gives him enough confidence to ask to be included in the next kids' game. The cartoon gouache and ink illustrations are crisp and clear on the white space, but the story line will be hard for kids to follow. The message is more for adults than kids.—Ieva Bates, Ann Arbor District Library, MI
Kirkus Reviews
It's a new town for a baseball-loving protagonist. Newman wastes not a moment, setting the stage with the title page: A lone moving truck chugs along a house-lined street, skyscrapers looming above. A white spread possessing only one word, "Tuesday," greets readers, with single brush strokes and blocks of color denoting a glove, a ball, a bat and a solitary boy lacing up his shoes. But the anticipated game is not to be, as the shy hero watches the sport longingly from afar. Crestfallen, he sits by a set of elderly men, and baseball dreams are traded for books, then costumes, as the child determinedly tries to stay on the bench of retirees-until the old-timers' ball game reawakens the boy's confidence. Effective visual storytelling realizes the aching love players can feel for the game, and in one lovely, lonely beat, the boy's self-imposed rejection turns to resolve, as the tyke asks to join in a kids' game. Through confident brushwork, done in a stylized '50s modern aesthetic, the artist's images reveal sports' deep truths about acceptance, a willingness to try and the intergenerational connections they bring. (Picture book. 4-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781416950127
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:
02/23/2010
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
1,108,314
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Jeff Newman grew up in Ashland, Massachusetts, and attended The Art Institute of Boston. His picture books include Hippo! No, Rhino; The Boys; and Hand Book. He currently lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Jeff Newman grew up in Ashland, Massachusetts, and attended The Art Institute of Boston. His picture books include Hippo! No, Rhino; The Boys; and Hand Book. He currently lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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