Poem Runs: Baseball Poems and Paintings

Poem Runs: Baseball Poems and Paintings

by Douglas Florian
     
 

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From the first pitch to the last out and all nine innings between, Douglas Florian’s collection of baseball poems brings wordplay, wit, and laughter to America’s springtime tradition. Featuring a mean-armed pitcher, a daisy-picking right fielder,
and a lightning-swift base stealer, Poem Runs combines irresistible language and Florian’s

Overview

From the first pitch to the last out and all nine innings between, Douglas Florian’s collection of baseball poems brings wordplay, wit, and laughter to America’s springtime tradition. Featuring a mean-armed pitcher, a daisy-picking right fielder,
and a lightning-swift base stealer, Poem Runs combines irresistible language and Florian’s signature child-friendly, bold illustration style in this celebration of the magic of baseball.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Florian gives readers a tour of the baseball diamond, focusing mostly on the various positions on the field, in upbeat poems that exude a bravado and competitive spirit that’s perfect for the subject matter. The poems accompany naïf, chalklike mixed-media artwork that uses watercolors, pastels, and (appropriately enough) pine tar on a canvas of paper bags; Florian exaggerates the players’ physicality, as they bend, leap, and swing, their limbs stretching across the spreads. Cockiness and comedy intertwine throughout: “Our slugger can zing/ Each pitch you may hurl./ And one other thing:/ Our slugger’s a girl,” Florian writes, as the batter bares her teeth and gets ready to swing at the ball, which is shown in tatters on the following spread (“Crash it/. Mash it./ Hit it./ Spit it./ Been there./ Did it”). Much like her hit, this one’s a blast. Ages 6–9. (Apr.)
From the Publisher
"Upbeat poems that exude a bravado and competitive spirit that's perfect for the subject matter...this one's a blast."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

"A great choice for sandlot players who just want to have fun."—School Library Journal

"An enjoyable collection of verse aimed at children who play the game."—Booklist

School Library Journal
Gr 2–6—Both sports enthusiasts and Florian fans will welcome this collection. Most of the 15 short selections are written from the point of view of children playing different positions on the team. Many of the images are stereotypical but amusing, like the right fielder who spends her time picking daisies and the slugger who is a girl. All of the poems are written in short, clipped, rhyming lines that give the book a sense of energy and rhythm. "I can catch curve balls./I can catch heat./I can catch sliders/With glove or with feet." The poems are printed, one to a spread, in legible white font against dark backgrounds. Some of them have creative typesetting, and the titles are set in a variety of hues. The colorful illustrations are done in different mediums, painted or drawn on paper bags. The stylized figures are distorted to suggest force and motion. The art has a childlike quality, looking as though it could be the work of the very player it represents. A great choice for sandlot players who just want to have fun.—Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT
Kirkus Reviews
Warm up and get in training for a full season of baseball poems. Each verse focuses on one element of the game, from the baseball itself to the position players and hitters. Even the umpire has his moment. The 15 verses vary in length from eight to 16 lines, and all have strong rhythms that beg to be read with a bouncing lilt. Florian also plays with shapes and patterns of words, spacing "stretch" so it appears to do just that, and placing "leaps," "climbs" and "plummets" in their appropriate orientations. He creates some delightful phrases in "Pitcher," who is "the starter of slumps," and "the strikeout collector." But he also misses the mark with several rhymes and images that seem forced and clumsy. There's little new or surprising here, but the poems generally capture the joy of boys and girls playing just for the love of the game. The introductory poems that begin the season share a page opening, while each subsequent poem has its own double-page spread with an exaggerated, elongated figure on the greens and sands of a baseball field. Rendered in a mix of gouache watercolors, oil pastels, colored pencils and pine tar (how apt!) on primed paper bags, the illustrations appear textured and touchable, with a childlike quality. A lighthearted reminder of why we love the game. (Picture book/ poetry. 6-9)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780547688381
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
04/03/2012
Edition description:
Library Edition
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
1,387,141
Product dimensions:
10.20(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

Meet the Author

DOUGLAS FLORIAN is the creator of many acclaimed poetry picture books, including lizards, frogs, and polliwogs , a Child Magazine Best Book of the Year; mammalabilia , an ABA's Pick of the Lists; and insectlopedia , a New York Times bestseller, ALA Notable Children's Book, and Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. He lives with his family in New York City.

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