The Bambino and Me

The Bambino and Me

by Zachary Hyman, Zachary Pullen, Jason Alexander
     
 

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It's 1927, and ten-year-old George Henry Alexander is full of the joys of summer: long days, warm nights and baseball, especially the greatest player in the game: Babe Ruth—the Bambino.

     When George's parents surprise him with tickets to a game between his beloved Yankees and their rivals, the Boston Red Sox, he couldn't

Overview

It's 1927, and ten-year-old George Henry Alexander is full of the joys of summer: long days, warm nights and baseball, especially the greatest player in the game: Babe Ruth—the Bambino.

     When George's parents surprise him with tickets to a game between his beloved Yankees and their rivals, the Boston Red Sox, he couldn't be more excited. A real baseball game, and his first chance to see his hero in the flesh!

     But when the big day arrives, things don't quite go according to plan. On what is supposed to be the best afternoon of his young life, George finds himself doing the one thing no true Yankees fan should ever do. He's so low, he'd rather kiss a girl! How can he face his hero when he feels like the biggest traitor in the world?

     In this magical story that perfectly conjures 1920s New York and the nostalgia of childhood summers, an unexpected encounter shows George the value of never giving up.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
03/24/2014
In Hyman's inventive baseball fairy tale, it's 1927 and a diehard Yankees fan named George is finally attending his first baseball game—and a New York–Boston game, no less. There's only one catch: Ma insists he wears a Red Sox uniform given to him by a misguided relative. Feeling like “the biggest traitor in the world," George ends up having a heart-to-heart with the Bambino himself, and comes away with an autographed baseball card, the Babe's own jersey, and a life lesson to boot. Pullen, who worked with Hyman on Hockey Hero, skirts sentiment and nostalgia with vibrant, larger-than-life oils; in this fairy tale, the pixie dust is New York exceptionalism. But the real draw may be actor Jason Alexander's exuberantly avuncular and occasionally Seinfeldian performance on an accompanying CD. Punctuated with period music, sound effects, and some fine characterizations, Alexander transports readers to a time when the “important stuff" in a kid's pocket was “a bunch of marbles, a couple of jacks, and some bottle caps," and Babe Ruth could be earnestly described as “more famous than Tarzan. He was every kid's hero!" Ages 6–9. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
06/01/2014
Gr 2–4—In 1927, 10-year-old George follows his beloved Yankees and their star, Babe Ruth, on the radio. With no money for tickets, he can only dream of seeing a game. Then his parents surprise him with a pair of tickets for his birthday. Alas, Uncle Alvin in Boston has also sent a present: a Red Sox jersey and cap, which his mother insists that he wear to the game. When George angrily protests, she washes his mouth out with soap. Crestfallen, he trudges to the game with his dad, with the catcalls of Yankee fans ringing in his ears, noting, "I would've rather kissed a girl—that's how bad it was!" A delightful surprise awaits him at the ballpark. Pullen's oversize oil paintings memorably capture the farcically exaggerated emotions. George and the other characters have rubbery faces with prominent noses and knobby chins and ears. Falling between caricature and cartoon, they're an inspired complement to the wry humor. Mixing just the right amount of nostalgia, pitch-perfect storytelling, and baseball fantasy, Pullen and Hyman have crafted a winning tale for readers, young and old—even Red Sox fans will find it irresistible—Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-03-31
The historic rivalry between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox is the catalyst for a young fan's extraordinary adventures in Yankee Stadium. George Alexander loves the Yankees and his hero Babe Ruth, but he is torn between joy and despair when he is forced to wear the Red Sox jersey and cap his uncle sent him to a Yankees-Red Sox game. The outfit causes quite a stir in his neighborhood and at the game, where he endures jeers and is pelted with peanuts, making George feel like a traitor. When the Great Bambino comes to the plate, he seems to notice that flash of red in the bleachers, points and hits a huge homer. After the game, George is escorted to meet the Babe, who treats him with great kindness and encouragement. Though related as a "memoir" by George as an old man, the tale is entirely fictional, but it manages to capture the essence of that extraordinary time and the larger-than-life persona that was Babe Ruth. Hyman invests George's voice with boyish enthusiasm, and the conversational language is characterized by contemporary syntax. Pullen's oddly proportioned, compelling illustrations, rendered in oil paint and walnut oil, are in perfect tandem with the nostalgic spirit of the text and wonderfully depict every aspect of the characters' emotions. Actor Jason Alexander's CD recording of the story is included. Lively, fun-filled and altogether delightful. (author's note) (Picture book. 6-10)
From the Publisher
PRAISE FOR The Bambino and Me:
"The tale is entirely fictional, but it manages to capture the essence of that extraordinary time and the larger-than-life persona that was Babe Ruth. Hyman invests George's voice with boyish enthusiasm and conversational language filled with contemporary syntax. Pullen's oddly proportioned, compelling illustrations, rendered in oil paint and walnut oil, are in perfect tandem with the nostalgic spirit of the text and wonderfully depict every aspect of the characters' emotions.... Lively, fun-filled and altogether delightful." - Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews

"Pullen's oversize oil paintings ... [are] an inspired complement to the wry humor. Mixing just the right amount of nostalgia, pitch-perfect storytelling, and baseball fantasy, Pullen and Hyman have crafted a winning tale for readers, young and old—even Red Sox fans will find it irresistible." - School Library Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781770496279
Publisher:
Tundra
Publication date:
04/08/2014
Pages:
48
Product dimensions:
8.80(w) x 10.30(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

Meet the Author

ZACHARY HYMAN is one of North America's top young hockey prospects and was drafted by the Florida Panthers in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. In 2011, Hockey Canada named Zachary Hyman the Canadian Junior A Player of the Year and his sweater hung in the Hockey Hall of Fame. His love of baseball and his passion for history inspired Zachary to pen both Hockey Hero and The Bambino and Me. Hyman studies and plays hockey at the University of Michigan, where he received the Freshman Academic Achievement Award in 2012.Residence: Ann Arbor, MI Hometown: Toronto, ON Author Site: http://www.zacharypullen.com/

Zachary Pullen's character-oriented illustrations have been seen in numerous publications including the New York Times Book Review, Sports Illustrated, Esquire, and the Wall Street Journal to name a few. He is the illustrator of a number of books for children, including Francis and Eddie: The True Story of America's Underdogs, Lipman Pike: America's First Home Run King and Friday My Radio Flyer Flew. He has been honored several times through the prestigious Society of Illustrators juried shows and Communication Arts Illustration Annual of the best in current illustration. Pullen lives with his wife and son in Wyoming. To see more of his work, please visit www.zacharypullen.com.

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