Rules of the Game: Baseball Poems

Rules of the Game: Baseball Poems

by Marjorie Maddox, John Sandford
     
 

Here's a celebration of baseball in poetry and the poetry in baseball. Baseball is a game of fine points and grand gestures, small blunders and bold accomplishments—the hook slide into second, the humble bunt, the unexpected wild pitch, the bases-loaded home run. Poet and baseball fan Marjorie Maddox pays tribute to these and other details that make

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Overview

Here's a celebration of baseball in poetry and the poetry in baseball. Baseball is a game of fine points and grand gestures, small blunders and bold accomplishments—the hook slide into second, the humble bunt, the unexpected wild pitch, the bases-loaded home run. Poet and baseball fan Marjorie Maddox pays tribute to these and other details that make the national pastime an enduring and engaging sport for players and fans alike. Surprising wordplay and striking images offer a unique perspective of this classic American game.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A rare treat. . . . An eye-opening glimpse of poetry doing what prose cannot." --Booklist

"Compact yet full of meaning. . . . Maddox's whimsical wordplay will be savored by casual sports fans and hardcore baseball addicts alike." --School Library Journal

School Library Journal

Gr 5-8

In this collection of approximately 40 brief poems, Maddox focuses on aspects of the game from pitching and hitting to base-running and fielding. Her carefully constructed word pictures offer dramatic snapshots of infield flies and collisions between fielders, sacrifice bunts, balks and pitch-outs, stolen bases, and grand slams. "A Strike by any other name is a (sometimes) foul, is a swing/that swats only air, is doing nothing when the ball's right there-/three times is an out is an out is an out." An umpire and a player face off in the large illustration laid across one spread: under the umpire, the poem "Out" concludes "...all hard-pitched hope outthrown, thrown out/of luck, of heart, of the hard heat of summer/and what won't be." On the facing page, the poem "Safe" states, "...What-could-be hunkers down here,/dares to snare the numbers,/spike out the sure thing,/outlaw the out." Compact yet full of meaning, these selections offer glimpses of the game's pleasures and poignant moments. Sandford's black-and-white pencil drawings add to the drama, focusing viewers' attention on the gangly pitcher's calculating gaze or the single-minded pursuit of the pony-tailed infielder. Maddox's whimsical wordplay will be savored by casual sports fans and hardcore baseball addicts alike.-Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA

Kirkus Reviews
A singularly unattractive, cramped design does nothing to help this collection of baseball-themed poems. From "Balk" to "Grand Slam," 42 poems tackle seemingly every aspect of play, even including the defunct "Catch on Bound" rule that hasn't pertained for eons. Some of the imagery is nicely apt: from "Home Run," "Anything less is a slice. / Hungry, you want the whole pie. / With the ball out of sight past the wall, / you crave every last crumb of the run..." Internal rhymes and wordplay provide most of the energy that drives this particular engine, and at their best, they're good fun. Unfortunately, the sheer volume of poems-often four to a spread, all rendered in the same tightly leaded lines of type in a 13-point font-overwhelms readers. Sandford's pencil illustrations, some hyperrealistic, some more playful (a startled batter, Band-aid on his hand, jumps out of the path of a "Beanball"), are set on an unvaried pale-orange background; the relentless visual sameness of each spread combines with the mass of print on the page to strike this one out. (Picture book/poetry. 11-14)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781590786031
Publisher:
Highlights Press
Publication date:
04/01/2009
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
7.70(w) x 10.20(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

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