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BASEBALL FROM A TO Z by Michael P. Spradlin


by Michael P. Spradlin and illustrated by Macky Pamintuan

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: March 23rd, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-06-124081-2
Publisher: HarperCollins

Pamintuan’s caricature-style portraits of exaggeratedly sinuous, muscular players in action are a hoot, but this baseball abecedarium is sabotaged by a bush-league text. Not only does Spradlin display clumsy prose—closing his comment on T for “Tag” with the claim that a fielder “must step on the base with the ball in his glove before the runner does”—he doesn’t even get his baseball facts straight: No, a knuckleball isn’t gripped with the knuckles (the accompanying pictures shows the correct grip), nor does the pitch have “a crazy spin when thrown” (its distinctive action is achieved by giving the ball no spin at all). There are plenty of better-written and at least somewhat more systematic baseball alphabets to get young readers primed for Opening Day—H Is for Home Run, by Brad Herzog and illustrated by Melanie Rose (2004), and B Is for Baseball, by Lisa McGuinness (2009), for example. This one’s an easy out. (Informational picture book. 6-8)