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THE BAMBINO AND ME by Zachary Hyman Kirkus Star


by Zachary Hyman ; illustrated by Zachary Pullen

Age Range: 6 - 10

Pub Date: April 8th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-770-49627-9
Publisher: Tundra

The historic rivalry between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox is the catalyst for a young fan’s extraordinary adventures in Yankee Stadium.

George Alexander loves the Yankees and his hero Babe Ruth, but he is torn between joy and despair when he is forced to wear the Red Sox jersey and cap his uncle sent him to a Yankees–Red Sox game. The outfit causes quite a stir in his neighborhood and at the game, where he endures jeers and is pelted with peanuts, making George feel like a traitor. When the Great Bambino comes to the plate, he seems to notice that flash of red in the bleachers, points and hits a huge homer. After the game, George is escorted to meet the Babe, who treats him with great kindness and encouragement. Though related as a “memoir” by George as an old man, the tale is entirely fictional, but it manages to capture the essence of that extraordinary time and the larger-than-life persona that was Babe Ruth. Hyman invests George’s voice with boyish enthusiasm, and the conversational language is characterized by contemporary syntax. Pullen’s oddly proportioned, compelling illustrations, rendered in oil paint and walnut oil, are in perfect tandem with the nostalgic spirit of the text and wonderfully depict every aspect of the characters’ emotions. Actor Jason Alexander’s CD recording of the story is included.

Lively, fun-filled and altogether delightful. (author’s note) (Picture book. 6-10)