Eddie: Harold's Little Brother

Overview

The former mayor of New York City learns that his talent for talking can take him far!

No matter how much Eddie practices, he just can't play baseball like his big brother, Harold. In fact, there's only one part of the game Eddie's any good at, and it has nothing to do with double plays or home runs -- Eddie's great at talking, and gives a fantastic game wrap-up. Fortunately for Eddie, Harold helps him see just how talented he really is and ...

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Overview

The former mayor of New York City learns that his talent for talking can take him far!

No matter how much Eddie practices, he just can't play baseball like his big brother, Harold. In fact, there's only one part of the game Eddie's any good at, and it has nothing to do with double plays or home runs -- Eddie's great at talking, and gives a fantastic game wrap-up. Fortunately for Eddie, Harold helps him see just how talented he really is and starts him on an amazing career!

James Warhola's richly-detailed artwork, full of wit and wonderful period details, brings the Koch brothers to life.

Eddie wants to be like his big brother, a very good athlete, but is not good at sports, so Harold helps him discover how to use his own special talent--talking.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In his first book for children, former New York City mayor Koch teams up with his sister for a heartfelt autobiographical tale introducing their older brother, an athlete who excelled in all sports. "Eddie wanted to be like Harold," but Eddie's attempts to keep up on the baseball field fail miserably. When the other kids clamor to have Harold on their team, he initially insists, "If you want me, you have to let Eddie play too." But Harold eventually discourages Eddie from joining in, suggesting instead that they think of something he is good at and really loves. "Well,... I may not be good at sports, but I like to talk," Eddie says. The boy uses his talent to provide Harold and his teammates with spirited play-by-play wrap-ups of their games and, with practice, to win the school public speaking contest. The closing scene finds Harold listening to Mayor Koch making a speech; he answers Koch's signature "How am I doing?" with a "You're doing great!" The authors shape a satisfying sentimental story with an uplifting message. Warhola creates an engagingly scrappy group of youths in animated illustrations. His 1930s cityscapes contribute to a sense of an idyllic childhood, while honest depictions of the kids' facial expressions-first chagrined to play ball with Eddie, and later regaled by his play-by-play recaps-will be recognizable to contemporary readers. Ages 5-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Eddie's older brother is a star in baseball, basketball, and football; as hard as the younger boy tries, he can never measure up to him. Eddie loves telling the neighborhood kids about Harold's exploits, though, and this leads to his eventual realization of his true talents. Set in a big city in the days of knickers and hand-pushed ice-cream carts, this story has a nostalgic charm, yet lacks the emotional complexity that marks the lives of real children. Unlike the fictional Eddie, most youngsters would probably feel at least occasionally envious of Harold. And some of the dialogue doesn't ring true; for instance, Harold tells his brother, "Let's try to think of something you do well and really love." The skillfully done watercolors add a lot of atmosphere and humor, especially when showing Eddie's mishaps playing baseball. Based on childhood memories of the authors, the former mayor of New York City and his sister, this book is recommended for larger collections or where local interest warrants purchase.-Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Imagine Ed Koch playing baseball. If the former New York City mayor had his way, he might have pursued a career in professional sports. But as this picture book reveals, Koch needed a little help recognizing his true calling. As a child, young Eddie wants to play baseball like his talented older brother, Harold. But unlike Harold, and despite his best efforts, Eddie's no natural. He does, however, have a gift for gab. After each game he recaps the action in vivid detail. Harold encourages Eddie to draw on his strengths by entering a public-speaking contest. Though the story wraps up a little too neatly-Eddie grows up to be a lawyer, then the mayor of New York City-its message is clear and important: everyone has different talents and natural abilities, and finding what we are good at, and pursuing it, is the path to success. Warhola's sepia-rich watercolors, reflecting the look and feel of Depression-era New York, are the perfect accompaniment. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399242106
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 9/9/2004
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.22 (w) x 10.48 (h) x 0.46 (d)

Meet the Author

Ed Koch, former New York City Mayor, is a partner in the law firm of Bryan Cave, writes for several magazines, and has a weekly program on Bloomberg Radio WBBR as well as a weekly television spot on New York News 1. Pat Koch Thaler, Ed's little sister, is a former associate dean of New York University's School of Continuing and Professional Studies, and is the author of numerous books and articles.

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Interviews & Essays

An Interview with Ed Koch
Former NYC Mayor Ed Koch, co-author of Eddie: Harold's Little Brother talks about his inspiration for writing his first children's book.

What made you decide to write a children's book?

EK: I write books, autobiographical, political, murder mysteries and, now, for children. I have a wonderful relationship with my sister's seven grandchildren, and I thought that they would be interested in an episode in my life involving my older brother, Harold, and myself, and that was the impetus for the children's books.

Although this book involves the relationship between yourself and your brother, you wrote this book with your sister; why?

EK: My brother died at age 75. My sister is seven years my junior. We are very close. Pat knew what I was thinking about and volunteered to join me.

Was your sister ever an influence on you? How?

EK: Pat and I are very close and we influence one another discussing Pat's family, local and national issues. Sometimes we persuade one another; sometimes we do not. Is this a factual account of how you learned of your talent for public speaking? If not, how did you learn of it?

EK: I was a good public speaker early on and this incident made that very clear.

How bad are you really at sports? What is your favorite one?

EK: I am terrible at sports; I have no coordination. If I had to pick one sport which interested me more than others, it would be swimming. I'm pretty good at that sport.

What was it like growing up in New York?

EK: Growing up in the city is a unique experience; it makes you streetwise.

How has it changed over the course of your life here?

EK: Today is the most exciting time to live in New York City. The diversity of its people has never been greater. Forty percent of New Yorkers were born in foreign countries, the highest ratio since the early 1900s. I am one of the less than fifty percent of New Yorkers who were born in New York City.

What is your favorite thing about NYC?

EK: I love the museums, particularly the Metropolitan Museum of Art. On Sundays, I sometimes sit on the steps in front of the museum's main entrance and watch the world go by.

When was the first time you spoke before a crowd?

EK: I spoke in front of crowds in high school debates, but the first time I spoke publicly -- on the street -- was in 1952 during the presidential campaign of Adlai Stevenson against Dwight D. Eisenhower.

How did you decide to get involved in politics?

EK: I became really involved in politics in 1952 and again in 1956 because I was entranced by the speeches of Adlai Stevenson which were so superbly written. In retrospect, we are lucky that Eisenhower won the election; Stevenson was a dreamer; Eisenhower was a doer.

What was the first campaign you worked on?

EK: I gave out campaign literature in the Truman campaign.

What do you want kids to walk away with after reading your book?

EK: I want children to know that every child has something to offer society. Every child must find out what they do best and not be overwhelmed by the fact that others may do better in some activities in which they do not. They should look for that in which they can excel. It's there. You just have to find it.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2004

    GREAT BOOK

    TERRIFIC BOOK. CAN'T SAY ENOUGH ABOUT IT!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2004

    MY SON LOVED IT

    GREAT FOR KIDS ANY AGE. GREAT MORAL.

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