Debut children's book illustrator Bing hits a home run with this handsome faux-scrapbook treatment of Thayer's immortal poem. The original verses about baseball start Casey and the ill-fated Mudville nine appeared in the San Francisco Examiner on June 3, 1888, and Bing captures the spirit of the age with pen-and-ink illustrations that look like carefully preserved newspaper clippings, complete with slightly torn and yellowed edges. He uses cross-hatching and careful shading to create the pages of The Mudville Sunday Monitor, which keenly resembles the newspaper engravings of the day. Columns of type (in historically accurate printers' fonts, as and afterword points out) run beneath each illustration to bolster the conceit. Bing also scatters other "scrapbook" items throughout, from game tickets (a bargain at 20 cents) to old-fashioned baseball cards and stereopticon images many of them carefully keyed to the text. Full-color currency, for instance, accompanies "They thought if only Casey could but get a whack at that /We'd put up even money now with Casey at the bat," while an ad for Brown's Bronchial Troches appears with the couplet "Then from 5,000 throats and more there rose a lusty yell;/It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell." Endpapers reveal more items to delight baseball fans and history buffs, from Thayer's newspaper obituary to a fake bookplate wreathed with baseball motifs. Though Casey and the Mudville nine strike out in the end, this exceptionally clever picture book is definitely a winner. All ages.
Casey at the Bat: A Ballad of the Republic Sung in the Year 1888by Christopher Bing, Ernest L. Thayer, Christopher H. Bing, E. Bing Thayer
"And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout; But there is no joy in Mudville-mighty Casey has struck out." Those lines have echoed through the decades, the final stanza of a poem published pseudonymously in the June 3, 1888, issue of the San Francisco Examiner. Its author would rather have seen it forgotten. Instead, Ernest Thayer's poem has taken a well-deserved place as an enduring icon of Americana. Christopher Bing's magnificent version of this immortal ballad of the flailing 19th-century baseball star is rendered as though it had been newly discovered in a hundred-year-old scrapbook. Bing seamlessly weaves real and trompe l'oeil reproductions of artifacts-period baseball cards, tickets, advertisements, and a host of other memorabilia into the narrative to present a rich and multifaceted panorama of a bygone era. A book to be pored over by children, treasured by aficionados of the sport-and given as a gift to all ages: a tragi-comic celebration of heroism and of a golden era of sport.
Andrea Sears Andrews
- Chronicle Books LLC
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- Product dimensions:
- 9.25(w) x 12.25(h) x 0.37(d)
- Age Range:
- 3 Months to 12 Years
Meet the Author
Christopher Bing, whose first book, "Casey at the Bat," was named a 2001 Caldecott Honor Book, lives with his wife and three children in Lexington, Massachusetts, in a house directly on the Freedom Trail, the route on which Paul Revere rod
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The genre of this book is under the catogory of poetry. One day in 1888 in Mudville stadium, it was the ninth inning with their team down four to two. After two outs were made the fans wanted Casey to bat, but two batters went before him. The two batters get on base, and Casey steps to the plate with a chance to win the game for the home team. Did Casey get the winning for his team? Read to find out, this book is a must have for any sports lover. The reading level for this book is ages 4-8. Thayer, Ernest Lawrence copied by Bing, Christopher. Casey at the Bat: A Ballad of the Republic Sung in the Year 1888. New York: Handprint Books.
Poetry: The book, Casey at the Bat (A Ballad of the Republic Sung in the Year 1888), was an interesting rhyming book for children. It kept my attention as I read from page to page. It actually had me wondering what would happen on the next page. I liked the book very much and would read it again. I think children will find interest in the topic, especially those who play sports. I liked the fact that the pages had newspaper clippings for it¿s background with information on them from that time period. The book will be able to teach kids more about this time period Ernest Thayer was born in Lawrence, Massacusetts and raised in Worcester. He graduated magna cum laude in philosophy from Harvard in 1885, where he was editor of the Harvard Lampoon. Its business manager,William Randolph Hearst hired Thayer as humour columnist for the San Francisco Examiner 1886-88.Thayer¿s last piece, dated June 3, 1888, was a ballad entitled 'Casey' ('Casey at the Bat').It took two decades for the poem to make Thayer famous, as he was hardly the boastful type and had signed the June 3 poem with the nickname 'Phin'. Two mysteries remain about the poem: who, if anyone, was the model for the title character and whether Thayer had a real-life 'Mudville' in mind when he included Mudville as the poem's mythical town. On March 31, 2004, Katie Zezima of The New York Times penned an article called 'In 'Casey' Rhubarb, 2 Cities Cry 'Foul!'' on the competing claims of two towns to such renown: Stockton, California, and Holliston, Massachusetts. He moved to Santa Barbara in 1912, where he married Rosalind Buel Hammett and retired. Thayer died in 1940, at age 77. Casey at the Bat (A Ballad of the Republic Sung in the Year 1888), book is about a baseball game that a player named Casey was at bat. The Casey team was known as the ¿Mudville Nine¿. The game was not looking good for them at all. Players were striking out and they were behind with only one more inning to play. Everyone thought if Casey got up to bat they could win. But, their hope faded away when they realized two more batters were before Casey that did not have a chance. To everyone¿s surprise the two batters got on base, one on second the other on third. Casey got up to bat with everyone in the stands ecstatic. Casey let the first two pitches go by without a swing. Then when the third ball came Casey swung. The crowd became in shock and disappointed. The impossible had happened that they thought never could. ¿And when the dust had lifted, and the men saw what had occurred, There was Jimmy safe at second and Flynn a-hugging third¿. This is the part of the book where the crowd was amazed the two batters before Casey had gotten on base. They had actually hit the ball. ¿And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout But there is no joy in Mudville---Mighty Casey has struck out¿. This is the end of story where Casey strikes out and the crowd is in shock he did so. Thayer, Ernest Lawrence. Casey at the Bat (A Ballad of the Republic Sung in the Year 1888). New York: Handprint Books, 2000. Grade Level: 3rd
Casey at the Bat, written by Ernest Lawerence Thayer and illustrated by Chistopher Bing, is presented as a scrapbook of newspaper articles, baseball tickets and other memorabilia from over one hundred years ago. Bing's wonderful illustrations do a great job of bringing the past alive and showing kids who love the game of baseball, how it all started. Although, children may not appreciate the illustrations as much as an adult would. Bing turns thayer's poem into a picture book full of drawings that take you back to the time of 1888. The realistic pen and pencil drawings captures the readers eyes and may cause them to look at the pictures rather than read the story. Throughout the story Thayer makes Casey a big man that everyone has confidence that he will be able to win the game for the Mudville nine. Things were not looking so well for them but the crowd knew that Casey would be to bat and they would put money on it that he would win the game for them. The story goes to show that there are heros and everyone may have their dreams but along with dreams many dissappointments may come, Mighty Casey had struck out! Casey at the Bat was a Caldecott Award winning book, and was also Bing's first children's book to illustrate. His illustrations made you as a reader come to see baseball in 1888. The book is for anyone age six or older.
This book was a Caldecott Honoree in 2001 for its outstanding illustrations. That award is richly deserved by this remarkable work whose images will remind you of a Hartnett album. Mr. Christopher Bing has reconceptualized 'Casey at the Bat' from being a poem that appeared in the June 3, 1888 edition of the San Francisco Examiner into an imaginary news story with drawings and artifacts in 'The Mudville Sunday Monitor' of the same date. In that reframing, the classic poem takes on a greater life and significance for fans of the poem. Each page in this brief book resembles the yellowed file copies of that old newspaper, with historic artifacts strewn across its pages. You will see tickets to the game, money, confetti, articles of that time, advertisements, a baseball, a baseball card, and the Library of Congress catalog card for 'Casey at the Bat.' Even the acknowledgments are put into this format. But this would all be but window-dressing if it were not such a powerful poem that has captured the imaginations of baseball fans for generations. 'The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Mudville nine . . . .' 'The score stood four to two with but one inning more to play.' Everyone hopes that Casey will get to bat, but that's unlikely. But a miracle happens. 'For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat.' Then comes the most famous and exciting at-bat in fictional baseball history. Alas, like the Red Sox since Babe Ruth left for New York, the end is disappointment for the fans. This book will make a wonderful gift for the baseball fan who has everything. After you finish oohing and aahing over the great illustrations and reliving your pleasure in the poem, I suggest that you reflect over the famous at-bats that have occurred in real baseball games. Which one is your favorite? For me, none can match Kirk Gibson's hobbling home run to help the Dodgers top the Mets in Shea Stadium in the final game of the National League Championship Series and go onto the World Series. I still get chills thinking about that. Reggie Jackson's third home run in the same World Series game comes close as a thrill. Wait for a good pitch, and hit it out of the park! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent Solution