Many believe baseball great Willie Mays to be the best player that ever lived. He hit 660 home runs (fourth best of all time), had a lifetime batting average of .302, and is second only to Babe Ruth on The Sporting News's list of "Baseball's 100 Greatest Players."
In Jonah Winter and Terry Widener's fascinating picture book biography, young readers can follow Mays's unparalleled career from growing up in Birmingham, Alabama, to playing awe-inspiring ball in the Negro Leagues and then the Majors, where he was center fielder for the New York (later San Francisco) Giants. Complete with sidebars filled with stats, here is a book for all baseball lovers, young and old.
"The Say Hey Kid had style to spare, and so does this irrepressible book." —Booklist, Starred
About the Author
Jonah Winter and Terry Widener collaborated on one previous picture book, Steel Town. Jonah is also the author of You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?!, which received three starred reviews; Here Comes the Garbage Barge!, a New York Times Best Illustrated Book; and Dizzy, the recipient of Best Book of the Year citations from Booklist, School Library Journal, Horn Book, The Bulletin, and Kirkus Reviews. His other picture book biographies include Roberto Clemente: Pride of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Diego, and Frida, a Parents' Choice Gold Medal winner.
Terry Widener's acclaimed picture books include Lou Gerhrig, The Luckiest Man, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book, ALA-ALSC Notable Children's Book, and IRA Teachers' Choice; and America's Champion Swimmer: Gertrude Ederle, an ALA-ALSC Notable Children's Book, Child Magazine Best Book of the Year, and School Library Journal Best Book of the Year.
What People are Saying About This
Starred Review, The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, February 2013:
“Even adults who are indifferent to baseball will likely be so drawn into Mays’ story and Winter’s rousing text that they’ll want to gather up a crowd just to read this one aloud.”
Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, December 3, 2012:
“A must-have for baseball fans.”
Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, December 1, 2012:
“An all-star gem to share with grandparents, parents, children, baseball fans and anyone else.”
Starred Review, Booklist, September 1, 2012:
“The Say Hey Kid had style to spare, and so does this irrepressible book.”
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book tells the story about how young Willie wanted to be “the next Joe DiMaggio” and practiced VERY hard. When he was growing up, African-Americans were treated unfairly and weren’t allowed to play in the National League. They had to play in the Negro League. The thing is, a lot of the Negro League teams were better than the National League teams, but the African-American players weren’t allowed to play. Willie started to play in the Negro Leagues at age 15 with the adults until “the major leagues ended their stupid rule barrin’ black guys“. Willie was signed to play with the New York Giants and lead them to the World Series! He could do it all, bat, run, throw. He became the best player of his time and he was a nice person. Why I liked this book – Well, first off, the illustrations are MARVELOUS! I like the way the story is narrated, I love the ‘voice’ of the book! I can totally hear someone telling the story! The message is totally awesome – I hear the message “with great power comes great responsibility” in the story… oh wait that was Uncle Ben in Spiderman. Well, you still get that message in this book. Mr. Mays had great powers and he used them for good. The story says that if you work hard, you get great rewards even if you are up against tough things! There is a baseball glossary in the back of the book and all of Willie Mays statistics. I like how there are little fact boxes spread all throughout the book to tell you different facts about baseball at the time Willie Mays was playing. I think kids 6+ will enjoy this book! **Note I bought my own copy of this book.
Good book it is