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Picture Book Thursday: Hey Batta Batta Swing!

RulesoftheGame Rules of the Game: Baseball Poems

Written by Marjorie Maddox
Illustrated by John Sandford
Ages 9-14

ChangeUpBaseballPoems Change-up: Baseball Poems
Written by Gene Fehler
Illustrated by Donald Wu
Ages 6-11

YouNeverHeardofSandyKoufax You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?!
Written by Jonah Winter
Illustrated by Andre Carrilho
Ages 4-10

Rules of the Game: Baseball Poems
National Poetry Month is the perfect time to celebrate the opening of the season with baseball poetry. Marjorie Maddox, grandniece of former Brooklyn Dodgers manager, has written a compilation that includes Choking Up on the Bat, Beanball, and my favorite, The Line Drive.  This is a book of baseball prose that all student sports enthusiasts will want in their classroom library.

Change-up: Baseball Poems
Wow!  Another comprehensive book of baseball poetry.  Gene Fehler sets forth a series of poems that flow from February, through baseball season, and back to February, covering topics like parents playing ball, superstitions and bench warming.  The combination of picture and poem for Snow Baseball had me feeling like I was in Cooperstown. Fellow Kid Lit Kit blogger Hannah Trierweiler also featured this book in her New Review Tuesday post.

You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?!
If you can stop playing with the lenticular cover of Sandy pitching, you'll learn everything you ever wanted to about this talented ball player.  By the end of 1961, "Sandy had broken the National League record, with 269 strikeouts."  His repeated pitching led to his elbow swelling to the size of a grapefruit after each game.  Readers will enjoy reading about his carer in baseball, as well as the facts sprinkled throughout the work.  This book is a home run.

Activity
Compare "Bench View" from Change-up and "The View from the Dugout" from Rules of the Game.  Have students illustrate the poems, without having seen the original illustrations.  Mount the pictures as a bulletin board display, being sure to include copies of the poems and accompanying artwork.

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