Baseball is more than a sport; in Borden’s unabashed celebration, it embodies the essence of the social, historic and emotional fabric of our nation.
Baseball has played a part in wars, social upheaval, urban and suburban development, immigration demographics, business conglomerates and investment swindles. It is also myth and mystery and the stuff of the American dream. People who love the game feel it in every sense, and to them, the minutiae are as elemental as the heroes, the great plays and the spectacle. Borden attempts to capture all of it in a lovely evocation of everything that is conjured up when a devoted fan hears the words “baseball is....” She employs deceptively simple language and the briefest of phrases filled with instant imagery that mingles past and present, spectators and players. Readers see, hear, smell and taste every aspect of the game. Nothing is forgotten or minimalized. The ballparks, the souvenirs and the hot dogs are all here from the major leagues to Little League. Colón’s exuberant colored-pencil illustrations are lovingly matched to the text and bring it to glorious life. The game is seen from every perspective on double-page spreads that incorporate vignettes in frames of every shape as well as a gatefold with the likes of Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson and Roberto Clemente.
Love of our national game shines in every word and picture. A grand slam. (Picture book. 7-10)