Home Run: The Story of Babe Ruth

Overview

The man who made the game of baseball, George Herman Ruth, wasn't always the Babe. Once he was a boy playing ball on a dirt lot.
Robert Burleigh and Mike Winner have created a stunning portrait of a legend—and of baseball's glory days.

A poetic account of the legendary Babe Ruth as he prepares to make a home run.

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Overview

The man who made the game of baseball, George Herman Ruth, wasn't always the Babe. Once he was a boy playing ball on a dirt lot.
Robert Burleigh and Mike Winner have created a stunning portrait of a legend—and of baseball's glory days.

A poetic account of the legendary Babe Ruth as he prepares to make a home run.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A superlative tribute, and most definitely a grand slam for this talented duo."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"This lyrical picture-book account is a success. . . . Burleigh brings the Babe to life through the moment of one at bat."—School Library Journal (starred review)

"This beautiful book . . . will have baseball fans of many ages cheering for Babe Ruth all over again. A wonderful selection to share across generations."—Booklist

New York Times Book Review
. . .[T]old in lushly romantic full-page paintings. . .and in data-filled old-style bubble-gum baseball cards, is the story of the Babe.
Publishers Weekly
"In a series of poetic, present-tense images, readers see Babe at play, while a congruent series of baseball cards provides aficionados with detailed information about the man, his statistics and his life," wrote PW in a starred review. "A superb tribute, and most definitely a grand slam for this talented duo." Ages 6-9. (Apr.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Burleigh and Wimmer, the creative team behind Flight: The Journey of Charles Lindbergh, give a bravura encore performance, this time turning their attention to another 20th-century legend, Babe Ruth. The Sultan of Swat emerges in sharp relief, a multi-layered profile of one of the brightest and best of the boys of summer. In a series of poetic present-tense images, readers see the Babe at play ("there is only the echoey, nothing-quite-like-it sound and soft feel of the fat part of the bat on the center of the ball"), while a congruent series of old-fashioned baseball cards provide baseball aficionados with detailed information about George Herbert Ruth Jr., his statistics and his life ("Many people know that Babe's top home-run season was 1927, when he bashed 60 big ones for a record that would stand for more than 30 years"). This clever juxtaposition provides Burleigh with abundant creative latitude, and he makes the most of it, delivering a solid biographical snapshot tucked inside a valentine to the sport. Wimmer's larger-than-life oil portraits, marvels of realism tinged with idealism, recall Norman Rockwell. His elastic use of perspective plants readers behind the home plate to watch Babe's pop fly head skyward, at the base line as his feet round the bases, and even in front of his bat, just spitting distance from the mound where the pitcher cocks his leg to wind up for the throw. Wimmer indicates two brief flashbacks to Babe Ruth's youth in sepia tones, while the rest of the artwork is full-color, bathed in glorious light. It's a superlative tribute, and most definitely a grand slam for this talented duo.
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
During the current baseball season, as old records tumble, it's satisfying to remember one of the greatest hitters of the game, George Herman Ruth, a.k.a. "the Babe." The author lovingly depicts the awesome "Goliath of the Grand Slam" in sharp hitting words, while the illustrator portrays him in action-packed, dynamic, and life-like paintings. This picture book is a winner that sets a high standard of excellence. Each page of text features a vintage-style baseball card detailing one of Babe's career highlights. Wimmer's paintings are sensational.
Children's Literature - Debra Briatico
Going, going, gone! During his spectacular career, George Herman Ruth hit numerous home runs, a feat that helped him become a world-famous sports figure. This exceptional picture book takes a close-up look at Babe Ruth's powerful swing+a swing that changed the game of baseball forever. In addition to a poetic tribute to this baseball great, the author also provides vintage-style baseball cards that focus on Ruth's career highlights from his pitching record to his top homerun season. Reminiscent of Norman Rockwell's exquisite style, Wimmer's beautifully detailed paintings perfectly capture the essence of America's favorite pastime and one of America's favorite sports heroes. This book is definitely a home run!
School Library Journal
This lyrical picture-book account is a success on a couple of levels. With a flowing minimal text, Burleigh brings the Babe to life through the moment of one at bat. The focus is on Ruth's fluid swing, which remained true from his young years on the sandlots through the waning days of his stellar career with the New York Yankees. Wimmer's sprawling, photorealistic oil paintings depict the larger-than-life figure and his surroundings with folksy Norman Rockwell-like charm. Older readers will appreciate the replicas of vintage baseball cards that appear on almost every other page. While such contemporary stars as Mark McGwire and Ken Griffey, Jr. have been hitting home runs at a near record pace during this, and in recent, seasons, any comparison with Ruth can be dismissed when considering: "...in 1921, with 59 home runs, the Babe hit more than all other American League players put together!" The fine melding of text and art will be pure pleasure for young hardball fans and may spark interest in one of the many Ruth biographies available, or in other fiction titles about the legendary King of Clout such as Donald Hall's hen Willard Met Babe Ruth (Browndeer Press, 1996).--Tom S. Hurlburt, La Crosse Public Library, WI
NY Times Book Review
. . .[T]old in lushly romantic full-page paintings. . .and in data-filled old-style bubble-gum baseball cards, is the story of the Babe.
Kirkus Reviews
Burleigh (Hoops, 1998) takes the same over-the-top tone in paying tribute to one of the country's most famous athletes: "He is the Babe. And he has changed baseball. Forever." Burleigh also spells out some Ruthian accomplishments and legends in a series of baseball-card-sized essays, presenting not so much a career summary as a set of awed and awesome anecdotes. As rendered by Wimmer in Norman Rockwell-like detail, the Sultan of Swat looms heroically, stepping to the plate, launching a ball into orbit as wide-eyed fans watch, then circling the bags as the pitcher stands disconsolately on the mound, an archetypal at-bat, captured with memorable verve and drama.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780152045999
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 3/3/2003
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 319,053
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: AD280L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.86 (w) x 11.12 (h) x 0.13 (d)

Meet the Author

ROBERT BURLEIGH is the author of many award-winning children's books, including Flight: The Journey of Charles Lindbergh, also illustrated by Mike Wimmer, and Hoops, illustrated by Stephen T. Johnson. He lives in Chicago, Illinois.

MIKE WIMMER is the illustrator of several books for young readers, including, Will Rogers: An American Legend by Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating. He lives in Norman, Oklahoma.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 31, 2010

    This belongs in the T-ball league

    Not suitable for the age group specified (which was 8-12/13 years). Our son, 11, was a little insulted when he opened up the book. Large Print, few words per page, very juvenile. More of a one sitting read... like for a bedtime story.
    The book itself is okay, but should be in a younger suggested age category like independent readers ages 5-7. Particularly for online listings where you can't open up the book yourself.
    Very disappointed.

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