A TICKET TO THE PENNANT

A TALE OF BASEBALL IN SEATTLE

Sweet and wistful nostalgia for a bygone era.

Huey frantically searches for his ticket to the big game at Sicks’ Stadium in Seattle, but he can’t find it anywhere. Will he miss the game?

In 1955, baseball fans in Seattle cheered for the minor league Rainiers. Olive-skinned Huey has his glove, cap, and shirt and is on his way to see that pennant-decision game, but he needs to find his ticket. He races through his neighborhood, hearing snippets of the pre-game show and the first innings on all the radios as he visits the places where he might have lost the ticket. His neighbors and shopkeepers—representing a variety of ethnic groups—are invariably friendly and encouraging, but none of them has seen the missing ticket. Of course he discovers that he has had it all along, hidden in his hat, and gets to the game by the fourth inning. There, he has a grand time with his neighbors and friends as they watch the Rainiers win the pennant. Holtzen recalls the sights and sounds of 1950s-era Seattle, naming streets and bus routes, shops and shopkeepers, radio announcer and players. Huey is a delightful little baseball lover who remains mostly cheerful and hopeful throughout his ordeal. Skewes’ bright, retro-flavored cartoons complement the text, vividly capturing the time and place as well as Huey’s changing emotions.

Sweet and wistful nostalgia for a bygone era. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: April 12, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-63217-003-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little Bigfoot/Sasquatch

Review Posted Online: Feb. 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2016

RAFI AND ROSI MUSIC!

From the Rafi and Rosi series

A welcome, well-researched reflection of cultural pride in the early-reader landscape.

The fourth installment in Delacre’s early-reader series centers on the rich musical traditions of Puerto Rico, once again featuring sibling tree frogs Rafi and Rosi Coquí.

Readers learn along with Rafi and Rosi as they explore bomba, plena, and salsa in three chapters. A glossary at the beginning sets readers up well to understand the Spanish vocabulary, including accurate phoneticization for non-Spanish speakers. The stories focus on Rafi and Rosi’s relationship within a musical context. For example, in one chapter Rafi finds out that he attracts a larger audience playing his homemade güiro with Rosi’s help even though he initially excluded her: “Big brothers only.” Even when he makes mistakes, as the older brother, Rafi consoles Rosi when she is embarrassed or angry at him. In each instance, their shared joy for music and dance ultimately shines through any upsets—a valuable reflection of unity. Informational backmatter and author’s sources are extensive. Undoubtedly these will help teachers, librarians, and parents to develop Puerto Rican cultural programs, curriculum, or home activities to extend young readers’ learning. The inclusion of instructions to make one’s own homemade güiro is a thoughtful addition. The Spanish translation, also by Delacre and published simultaneously, will require a more advanced reader than the English one to recognize and comprehend contractions (“pa’bajo-pa-pa’rriba”) and relatively sophisticated vocabulary.

A welcome, well-researched reflection of cultural pride in the early-reader landscape. (Early reader. 7-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-89239-429-6

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Children's Book Press

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

ACOUSTIC ROOSTER AND HIS BARNYARD BAND

Having put together a band with renowned cousin Duck Ellington and singer “Bee” Holiday, Rooster’s chances sure look...

Winning actually isn’t everything, as jazz-happy Rooster learns when he goes up against the legendary likes of Mules Davis and Ella Finchgerald at the barnyard talent show.

Having put together a band with renowned cousin Duck Ellington and singer “Bee” Holiday, Rooster’s chances sure look good—particularly after his “ ‘Hen from Ipanema’ [makes] / the barnyard chickies swoon.”—but in the end the competition is just too stiff. No matter: A compliment from cool Mules and the conviction that he still has the world’s best band soon puts the strut back in his stride. Alexander’s versifying isn’t always in tune (“So, he went to see his cousin, / a pianist of great fame…”), and despite his moniker Rooster plays an electric bass in Bower’s canted country scenes. Children are unlikely to get most of the jokes liberally sprinkled through the text, of course, so the adults sharing it with them should be ready to consult the backmatter, which consists of closing notes on jazz’s instruments, history and best-known musicians.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58536-688-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Review Posted Online: July 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2011

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