How Georgie Radbourn Saved Baseball

How Georgie Radbourn Saved Baseball

by David Shannon
     
 

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Bestselling Caldecott Honor artist David Shannon tells the story of a boy who overcomes a cruel tyrant using his love of baseball.

Chosen as a NEW YORK TIMES Best Illustrated Children's Book, HOW GEORGIE RADBOURN SAVED BASEBALL was published more than a decade ago, and it was the very first book award-winner David Shannon wrote and illustrated himself. Using his

Overview


Bestselling Caldecott Honor artist David Shannon tells the story of a boy who overcomes a cruel tyrant using his love of baseball.

Chosen as a NEW YORK TIMES Best Illustrated Children's Book, HOW GEORGIE RADBOURN SAVED BASEBALL was published more than a decade ago, and it was the very first book award-winner David Shannon wrote and illustrated himself. Using his vast experience as an editorial illustrator, Shannon told an expressive, emotional tale of a time when spring no longer existed, and it was always winter in America. Why? Because an angry dictator declared baseball illegal, and once-happy citizens fell into a dull pace of endless ice, snow, factories, and drudgery.
Filled with warmth, drama, and gentle humor, this story presents Shannon's rare ability to create an engaging picture book that can be read on several levels. Perfect for story time, bedtime, and teacher readings, this 2012 edition features a dramatic new cover sure to catch the eye of readers everywhere.
Published just in time for baseball season, HOW GEORGIE RADBOURN SAVED BASEBALL is more than a hit--it's a home run!

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"What would a world without baseball be like? Shannon gives us a glimpse of it in this...picture book, complete with echoes of an Orwellian future that might make it a discussion starter for kids well beyond picture-book age."--BOOKLIST

"children wish for a world like Georgie's where right and wrong, hero and villain are crystal clear, and children feel powerful and triumphant."--CHILDREN'S LITERATURE

"fans will enjoy the many baseball references cleverly inserted here; Georgie, for instance, recalls Charles ("Old Hoss") Radbourn, the 19th century's greatest pitcher."--KIRKUS REVIEWS

Children's Literature - Suzanna E. Henshon
George Radbourn was born in a snow-filled world. It was winter everywhere in America, from Los Angeles to New York. Baseball was recently declared illegal, and spring no longer exists. Many years ago, baseball was the American pastime. One fatal day, a young ball player named Boss Swaggert struck out. Soon Boss storms off the field and begins a campaign to make playing baseball illegal. He forces America to outlaw its beloved sport, and winter falls throughout the land. Boss confiscates baseball equipment. Then bulldozers plow through baseball fields. Around this time, George Radbourn is born. The baby sprinkles baseball jargon into his everyday speech. One day George is caught making a baseball reference, and the trial of the century begins. George challenges Boss to a baseball game. For the first time ever, George steps on the pitcher's mound, and immediately feels at home. Then Boss strikes out, and wonderful things start to happen. The snow melts, revealing a beautiful green baseball diamond. Spring returns to the land, and people start playing baseball again. In this delightful and entertaining story, David Shannon takes readers on a wonderful adventure, with well-crafted text and illustrations. Reviewer: Suzanna E. Henshon, Ph.D.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The Big Brother of this dystopian tale is Boss, a former baseball star so embittered by a run of bad luck that he vows to outlaw baseball forever. Amassing piles of money, buying control of the media and declaring himself head of the country, he realizes his aim and then some: even the use of baseball slang (``screwball,'' ``hit'') becomes grounds for arrest by his Factory Police. Without the game, America sinks into a literal perpetual winter, until young Georgie Radbourn beats Boss at a winner-take-all contest on Boss's old turf, striking him out neatly and thus returning the game, and the warmer seasons, to a grateful nation. Even Shannon's ( The Rough-Face Girl ) art is gloomy, sometimes oppressive--heavy oils in muted, dark colors and with mostly blurred expressions, save for the grotesquely outsized Boss. The central conceit--that life without baseball is scarcely worth living--may strike all but the most avid fans as precious and thin, and adult points of reference are needed to clarify the story. A ponderous and disappointing outing. All ages. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
Imagine a future where we've lost the American tradition of baseball. This picture book features Boss Swaggart, a nasty ballplayer who is caught in a slump and decides to end baseball forever. He convinces the American people that everyone will make money if they build factories instead of baseball parks The public buys the idea and Boss Swaggart forbids baseball, plunging the country into depression and an endless winter. However, when Georgie Radbourn begins to speak, everything that comes out of his mouth is a forbidden baseball term. The book ends as he strikes out Boss and saves baseball. The world then breaks out in spring. I think children wish for a world like Georgie's where right and wrong, hero and villain are crystal clear, and children feel powerful and triumphant.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-Baseball fans of many ages will revel in this story. After being booed and jeered by the home crowd during a terrible slump, Boss Swaggert storms off the field never to play baseball again, vowing that someday the sport would be declared illegal. Becoming rich and powerful over the years, he buys up the media and extols the evils of the game. Eventually, having all of America believing him, he has the president arrested for ``Conspiracy to Commit Baseball'' for throwing out the first ball of the season, declares himself Chief Executive Officer of America, and outlaws the game. Without baseball, spring never comes and the winter months turn slowly into freezing years. Enter Georgie Radbourn, who inexplicably utters sayings about baseball every time he opens his mouth and ends up on trial before his 10th birthday. This eventually leads to a showdown between him and Swaggert, and a happy ending ensues. Shannon's dark, somber paintings, somewhat reminiscent of William Joyce's work, dramatically portray the mood of the story, brightening at the end while illustrating Georgie's triumph. A home run!-Tom S. Hurlburt, La Crosse Public Library, WI
Stephanie Zvirin
What would a world without baseball be like? Shannon gives us a glimpse of it in this dark picture book, complete with echoes of an Orwellian future that might make it a discussion starter for kids well beyond picture-book age. When jeering crowds boo baseball player Boss Swaggert at the plate, he vows revenge. Years later, having become rich and powerful, he avenges himself by outlawing the game and the lingo that goes with it. With baseball's demise comes gloomy perpetual winter and a troop of hulking Factory Police to enforce Boss' law. It takes kid-whiz, snowball-thrower Georgie Radbourn, born spouting game talk ("`Hum that apple; shoot that pea!' What he meant was: `Good morning! What's for breakfast?'"), to shake things up: if Georgie wins a baseball face-off with Boss, the game's back; if he loses, it's out with his "treasonous tongue." Although some kids may catch a glimmer of humor in the situation, most will focus on the strong, bleak vision Shannon conjures up so well in his dramatic illustrations: Boss, a truly scary figure, is the perfect villain who looms threateningly over all. His eventual defeat will delight children who hanker for evil neatly overturned, but not even they will mistake this for sweet nostalgia about a favorite pastime--no matter how brightly the sun shines on the last page.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780545381789
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
03/01/2012
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
604,438
Product dimensions:
10.06(w) x 9.26(h) x 0.39(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author


David Shannon is the internationally acclaimed creator of more than thirty picture books, including NO, DAVID!, a Caldecott Honor Book and his second NEW YORK TIMES Best Illustrated Book of the Year. In addition to three more David picture books, Shannon’s bestsellers include TOO MANY TOYS; HOW GEORGIE RADBOURN SAVED BASEBALL (newly released in 2012); A BAD CASE OF STRIPES; DUCK ON A BIKE; ALICE THE FAIRY; and GOOD BOY, FERGUS! A native of Spokane, Washington, he is an avid fisherman. He and his family live in California.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Los Angeles, California
Date of Birth:
October 5, 1960
Place of Birth:
Washington, D. C. (Raised in Spokane, Washington)
Education:
B.A., Art Center College of Design

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