A moving tribute to a true hero.

THE WILLIAM HOY STORY

HOW A DEAF BASEBALL PLAYER CHANGED THE GAME

William Hoy was a talented, hard-playing major league baseball player who had a profound effect on the manner in which the game is played.

He played from 1888-1902, amassing an impressive record in both fielding and hitting. In the vernacular of the times he was known as “Dummy” Hoy because he was deaf, but it was also how he referred to himself. He could read lips and write notes, but there were many challenges to overcome. When he was up at bat, he could not tell whether a ball or strike was called because, in those days, umpires shouted their calls and, of course, Hoy could not hear them. He worked out a system of arm signals to call balls and strikes, safe and out, based on American Sign Language, and convinced the umpires to use his method. His career took off, and soon these signals became the norm for all baseball games and remain in use today. The fans learned to wave their arms so he would know they were cheering for him. Churnin tells Hoy’s story in sprightly, descriptive language that reaches to the heart of his courage and ingenuity. Tuya’s bright, flat, cartoon-simple illustrations complement the text perfectly, deftly capturing the era, Hoy’s emotional ups and downs, and his determination and spirit.

A moving tribute to a true hero. (biographical information, timeline, acknowledgements) (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-8075-9192-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2016

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

RAFI AND ROSI MUSIC!

From the Rafi and Rosi series

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 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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A solid sequel, easily accessible to readers who missed Volume 1.

LITTLE SHAQ TAKES A CHANCE

From the Little Shaq series , Vol. 2

A fictionalized young Shaquille O'Neal returns for a second illustrated story about life beyond the basketball court.

Little Shaq and his cousin Barry come home from the rec center giddy about Little Shaq's first three-point shot but are greeted with another surprise. For the first time, Little Shaq's mom has made sushi for a family dinner. Barry and the others dig in, but Little Shaq's curiosity about sushi only hits him after the last roll is gone. Little Shaq's joy and confidence on the court—best expressed when Little Shaq exuberantly tosses a postgame grape into Barry's mouth ("Three points!")—contrast strongly with his unease trying new foods or activities. A large part of the book concerns a school art project, and Little Shaq's frustration is made poignantly clear through both illustration and description ("Little Shaq crumpled up his drawing and marched back to the supply tables"). Throughout, the love among Little Shaq's family members shines through in their interactions, and the story delivers a message without triteness. Taylor’s full-color illustrations break up text on almost every page, adding warmth and energy. (Final art not seen.)

A solid sequel, easily accessible to readers who missed Volume 1. (Fiction. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 26, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-61963-844-0

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Jan. 9, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2016

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