Stealing Home: Jackie Robinson: Against the Oddsby Robert Burleigh, Mike Wimmer
Man on third. Two outs. The pitcher eyes the base runner, checks for the sign. The fans in the jammed stadium hold their breath. Flapping his outstretched arms like wings, number 42 leads off again. It is September 1955, game one of the World Series, the Yankees versus the Dodgers, and Jackie Robinson is about to do the unbelievable. Attempt to steal home. In a… See more details below
Man on third. Two outs. The pitcher eyes the base runner, checks for the sign. The fans in the jammed stadium hold their breath. Flapping his outstretched arms like wings, number 42 leads off again. It is September 1955, game one of the World Series, the Yankees versus the Dodgers, and Jackie Robinson is about to do the unbelievable. Attempt to steal home. In a World Series game. To race a baseball thrown from the pitcher's mound and win! Is it possible? Yes, it is if you are Jackie Robinson!
This well-intentioned picture book tribute is marred by a disjointed narrative. While double-page paintings capture the intense excitement of the play as the Hall of Famer steals home, a few lines of free verse detail the action. Meanwhile, along with each painting and verse, a box of text introduces an aspect of Robinson's life and career. One, for example, briefly limns the segregated nature of baseball in 1946; others focus on the athlete's base-running skills, his family, his rookie season, his best season, the Brooklyn Dodgers' rivalry with the Yankees, and his early life. These snippets of information (two to three paragraphs each) are superimposed on facsimiles of old baseball cards; in small-sized font against a slate-colored background, they are frustratingly hard to read. Some of the factoids are interesting and Wimmer's oils are attractive and well done, but with its lack of a cohesive narrative, this effort falls short. Baseball fans will welcome the book despite its flaws; but for straightforward introductions, steer readers to Carin T. Ford's Jackie Robinson: Hero of Baseball (Enslow, 2006) or Sharon Robinson's Jackie's Nine: Jackie Robinson's Values to Live By (Scholastic, 2001).
Marilyn TaniguchiCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Meet the Author
Robert Burleigh is the award-winning author of many books for children, including The Adventures of Mark Twain by Huckleberry Finn, illustrated by Barry Blitt; Night Flight, illustrated by Wendell Minor; and Black Whiteness, illustrated by Walter Lyon Krudop. His many other books include Hoops; Stealing Home; and Clang! Clang! Beep! Beep! He lives in Michigan.
Mike Wimmer has illustrated many books for children, including Home Run: The Story of Babe Ruth by Robert Burleigh, which was named an ALA Notable Children’s Book and was called a “grand slam” in a starred review in Publishers Weekly. He also illustrated Flight: The Journey of Charles Lindbergh by Robert Burleigh, which received the Orbis Pictus Award for nonfiction. He lives in Oklahoma with his family.
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