Yogi: The Life, Loves, and Language of Baseball Legend Yogi Berra
by Barb Rosenstock, Illustrated by Terry Widner
Calkins Creek (February 5, 2019)
Nonfiction * Biographical * Sports
Audience: Ages 7 to 10
Indiebound | WorldCat
Description from GoodReads: The life and famous words, such as "it ain't over till it's over," of Major League Baseball player and New York Yankee Lawrence "Yogi" Berra are celebrated in this nonfiction picture book.
Yogi Berra loved his family, his neighborhood, his friends, and, most of all, baseball. He was crazy for it, ever since he was a young kid playing with friends in an abandoned dump. But baseball didn't love him back--at least not at first. Yogi was different. He didn't have the right look. When he finally made it to the major leagues, Yogi faced pranks and harassment from players, sportswriters, and fans. Their words hurt, but they made Yogi determined to show all that he could do. This book looks at the talents, loves, and inspirational words of this celebrated New York Yankee and American icon, who earned a World Series ring for each finger and made baseball love him back.
Check out the Official Book Trailer:
Quick thoughts on the book:
Have you noticed that there are dozens of baseball picture books? Many are picture book biographies. A few years ago, I did a blog post of my favorite baseball picture books. In following years, I updated those lists. Along the way, it dawned on my me to ask where were the football or basketball or soccer picture books? After a search, I discovered that there was definitely a preponderance of baseball books. And frankly, that is okay with me. One of the latest baseball picture book biographies puts the spotlight on Yogi Berra.
As a child, I grew up with equal parts Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees. My father was (still is) a Red Sox fan. I was a Yankees fan. During those years, I knew of Berra more as a coach than a player. He was almost a cartoonish character with his short thick stature and Yogi-isms. And for as much as I knew of him, I knew little about him.
Rosenstock’s picture book biography on Yogi Berra filled in lots of the gaps for me and gave me a new appreciation for the man and the baseball player. As I read the book, I found myself getting emotional. Emotional over how Berra was treated, and how hard he had to work to realize his dreams. Somewhere along the line, I found my admiration of Berra growing. Widener’s illustrations paired beautifully with Rosenstock’s text and made this a a complete package. If you are a fan of baseball and picture book biographies, you will want to add this to your collection.
Rosenstock includes an author’s note, bibliography, career statistics and information on his “Yogi-isms”. Also there is an Educator’s Guide on the Boyds Mills Press website (link above). Pick up a copy of this book at your local indie bookstore or community library.
About the author: Barb Rosenstock is best known for her many picture book biographies, including Thomas Jefferson Builds a Library, Ben Franklin's Big Splash, The Streak, Dorothea's Eyes, and Blue Grass Boy, all published by Calkins Creek. Her other recent titles include a picture book about Vincent Van Gogh, Vincent Can't Sleep, and a picture book about Vasily Kandinsky, The Noisy Paint Box, which won the 2015 Caldecott Honor Medal. She lives outside Chicago with her family. Visit her at barbrosenstock.com.
About the illustrator: Terry Widener is the award-winning illustrator of many picture books on athletes, including The Streak: How Joe DiMaggio Became America's Hero, Girl Wonder: A Baseball Story in Nine Innings, American Champion Swimmer: Gertrude Ederle, and Lou Gehrig, The Luckiest Man. He is also the illustrator of The Kite That Bridged Two Nations by Alexis O'Neill. He lives in McKinney, Texas, with his wife and is the father of three grown children. Visit him at terrywidenerart.com.
Don’t miss the other stops on the blog tour:
Monday, 3/18 Mile High Reading
Tuesday, 3/19 Book Q&A’s with Deborah Kalb
Wednesday, 3/20 Mrs. Knott’s Book Nook
Thursday, 3/21 Behind the Scenes @BMP
Friday, 3/22 Anatomy of Nonfiction
Monday, 3/25 The Nonfiction Detectives
Wednesday, 3/27 KidLit Frenzy
Thursday, 3/28 Celebrate Picture Books
Friday, 3/29 Unleashing Readers
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