CASEY AT THE BAT by Ernest L. Thayer

CASEY AT THE BAT

A Ballad of the Republic Sung in the Year 1888
by & illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 10
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Of the making of Caseys there seems no end, but here the illustrator of John Lithgow’s Remarkable Farkle McBride (2000) delivers the chestnut with such broad, satirical panache that only the dourest of spoilsports will be able to resist going along for the ride. From the rows of bowler-topped gents in the stands to the well-groomed hairs in Casey’s handlebar, every detail is both larger than life, and painted with crystal clarity. A mighty figure indeed, Casey strides to the plate with lordly assurance, casually takes two strikes, then gears up for the next pitch; Payne zeroes in on Casey’s suddenly-choleric face—steam blasting from his ears—then pulls back to depict a whiff so prodigious that the batter’s whole body disappears into a swirling blur. But a whiff it is, and a view of a deserted, muddy street captures the forlorn tone of the final verse. Finished off with a detailed account of the poem’s history, this may not supercede Christopher Bing’s Caldecott Honor–winning rendition (2000) for period flavor, but it does capture the episode’s epic scale and perfectly tuned melodrama. (Picture book/poetry. 7-10)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-689-85494-3
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2002




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