Casey Back at Bat

( 1 )

Overview

The mighty Casey is getting what any failed sports hero most desires: a second chance. He's got to prove himself after his last, disastrous game. All eyes are on Casey as he steps up to the plate. Will he finally bring joy to Mudville?

It's a hilarious sequel to Ernest Lawrence Thayer's famous poem "Casey at the Bat: A Ballad of the Republic."

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Overview

The mighty Casey is getting what any failed sports hero most desires: a second chance. He's got to prove himself after his last, disastrous game. All eyes are on Casey as he steps up to the plate. Will he finally bring joy to Mudville?

It's a hilarious sequel to Ernest Lawrence Thayer's famous poem "Casey at the Bat: A Ballad of the Republic."

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Orange County Register
“...Wonderfully inventive...Gutman’s poetic updating is funny and lively. The illustrations are terrific”
Horn Book Magazine
“With a re-invention like this, Casey is welcome back at bat anytime.”
Chicago Sun-Times
“A solid homer.”
San Diego Union-Tribune
“...An amusing rendition...wonderful illustrations.”
People
“Out of this world.”
People
“Out of this world.”
Publishers Weekly
What if the scourge of Mudville had another chance? Gutman (the Baseball Card Adventure series) takes a crack at a sequel to Ernest Lawrence Thayer's Casey at the Bat in his picture book debut. With two outs, two men on base and his team down three runs to one in the final inning of the season's last game, Casey lets two balls go by, and then, a miracle-he hits it out of the park. Indeed, the ball not only travels around the world (it nearly beans a bird, and strikes a certain tower in Pisa) but also goes back in time (past dinos) and into outer space. Unfortunately Gutman's jarring modern phrasings and bumpy rhythms are a far cry from Thayer's comic stylings, (e.g., "In the depths of outer space, an astronaut named Janet/ shrieked, `Eureka! I have found it! I've discovered a new planet!'/ Her partner took a look and told her, "Janet, in your dreams./ I've yet to see a planet sewn together at the seams' "). But Johnson and Fancher (Star Climbing) step up to the plate. With burnished-tone pictures cleverly textured with everything from vintage newspapers to a henna pattern on a pair of Indian rhinos, the artwork fully captures the spirit of the mock epic. Their chiseled-face Casey seems both deserving of vindication and cruising for a bruising. Which one does he end up getting? Suffice to say that once again, there is no joy in Mudville. Ages 4-8. (Feb.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Sharon Salluzzo
Baseball fans, here it is: a second chance for Casey, whose strikeout ended the season and left no joy in Mudville. Now it is the next year. It is the last game of the season and Mudville is playing Rutland for first place. This time when Casey comes up to bat he hits the ball so hard it soars out of the ballpark. Has Casey redeemed himself? A clue is given on the first page in the following: "Well, if you think that tale was sad, sit down, let's have a chat." Gutman's fun-filled parody will have young readers on the edge of their seats rooting for Casey's success. As the ball flies around the world, it picks up speed and thereby offers explanations for the leaning tower of Pisa and the extinction of the dinosaurs, among other things. The text, which begs to be read aloud, is accompanied by distinguished illustrations of a strong-jawed Casey, and newspaper collage uniforms for the ballplayers and astronauts (you will just have to read the book to see where they fit in). The ballgame is illustrated from many interesting angles. This is certain to stretch the imagination while eliciting lots of laughter. Children familiar with Casey at the Bat will appreciate it the most. Middle school and high school teachers can use the two together to discuss "parody" with their students. This is a fantasy that is perfect for opening day, the end of the season, and anytime in between. It is fun for everyone….except mighty Casey.
School Library Journal

K-Gr 4
In this winning picture book, Gutman revisits and updates Thayer's classic baseball poem. This time around (and much to everyone's surprise), Casey hits a fly ball that soars out of the park and keeps on going. It crosses the Atlantic Ocean and has an unfortunate encounter with a tower in Pisa before continuing on to the Sphinx in Egypt. Streaking through time, it passes dinosaurs (and sends them to their ultimate fate) and astronauts before heading back to Earth. The ride is uproarious from start to finish, and Gutman's broadly humorous verse hits all the right notes. This Casey is perfect for his role: smug, dense, and deliciously ripe for his comic send-up. "His arms, his legs, his neck, his lips-his teeth had muscles too./They rippled from his little toe up to his eyes of blue." Johnson and Fancher's paintings have a playfully nostalgic look, with a mix of textured papers and newsprint splashed across the surfaces of uniforms. Though "there's still no joy in Mudville," this is a fun read-aloud, and it will have baseball fans of all ages cheering. Gutman has reaffirmed the appeal of Thayer's classic.
—Marilyn TaniguchiCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Back in 1888, Mighty Casey struck out and left Mudville joyless. But now he finally has another "at bat." This time he actually hits the ball over the wall, and oh boy, does it travel. It hits that tower in Pisa and makes it lean, and then wreaks further havoc around the globe. It even crashes the time barrier and scares the dinosaurs into extinction, heading back to earth after a quick visit with some astronauts. Meanwhile, back at the ballpark, Casey is basking in the glory of his monumental home run-or not. For here comes the ball, streaking right into the shortstop's glove. Gutman pulls out all the stops, piling absurdity upon absurdity. The verse moves briskly, lightly mimicking the original, but with a nod to modern syntax. Johnson and Fancher's paintings are remarkable. Each illustration perfectly matches the text, imaginatively distorting perspective to enhance the larger-than-life events. Look more closely and find that underlying the scenes are subtle newsprint or graphic designs that add texture and mystery. Sheer delight. (Picture book. 5-10)
People Magazine
"Out of this world."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060560270
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/24/2009
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 541,535
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Dan Gutman

Dan Gutman has written many weird books for kids. He lives in New Jersey (a very weird place) with his weird wife and two weird children.

Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher are an illustration team with more than forty picture books in print. Their work has garnered rave reviews and won awards. Their books include My Many Colored Days, Bebop Express, I Walk at Night, New York's Bravest, The Velveteen Rabbit, and The Salamander Room. They were also concept artists for Pixar's Toy Story and A Bug's Life. They live in California with their son.

Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher are an illustration team with more than forty picture books in print. Their work has garnered rave reviews and won awards. Their books include My Many Colored Days, Bebop Express, I Walk at Night, New York's Bravest, The Velveteen Rabbit, and The Salamander Room. They were also concept artists for Pixar's Toy Story and A Bug's Life. They live in California with their son.

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