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TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME by Jack Norworth Kirkus Star


by Jack Norworth & illustrated by Amiko Hirao

Age Range: 2 & up

Pub Date: April 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-936140-26-8
Publisher: Imagine Publishing

The song may have been written by a man who had never been to a game, and it was first sung on the vaudeville circuit of early-20th-century America, but it has long since taken its place as the venerable and beloved anthem of baseball. Of course, modern fans do not include the original verse when they sing the refrain during the seventh-inning stretch. The fact that the lyrics are about a young woman’s deep love of the game would greatly surprise them. Katie Casey “saw all the games, knew all the players by their first names.” The song has been illustrated often, in myriad styles and techniques. Hirao creates a cast of enthusiastic animals to populate the teams and spectators at Sluggers Stadium. While the fans, including Katie the cat, are of mostly domesticated varieties, the players are alligators, giraffes, elephants, hippos and other wildlife. It’s a visual tour de force, with double-page spreads of large, action-packed, brilliantly colored scenes in startlingly off-center perspective. A Carly Simon CD accompanies the book, and youngsters will have a wonderful time reading and singing along. In a charming note, Simon provides some surprising information about her connection to both the song and Jackie Robinson. Joyous fun for all. (illustrator's note) (Picture book. 2 & up)