Book Review: Casey At The Bat by Christopher Bing
Every American kid that picks up a baseball bat should have at least heard of Ernest Lawrence Thayer's poem, "Casey at the Bat." The story of the Mudville nine appeared in the San Francisco Examiner on June 3, 1888 and it became a part of American baseball history and literature.
The story is captured brilliantly by Christopher Bing's pen-and-ink illustrations and those are framed within the book as if it were a scrapbook. Inside are newspaper clippings, game tickets, advertisements and baseball cards from that time period of the early days of baseball.
This book is a winner for kids for a number of reasons:
1. It introduces an important American story--a myth really--that is intertwined in baseball history.
2. It is a way to introduce poetry to a kid.
3. The incredible illustrations might inspire a kid to pick up a pencil and start sketching on their own.
4. The scrapbook items that are scattered throughout the book gives a kid a historical perspective.
5. The newspaper clippings are an added reading bonus and are nice tangents about the game of baseball.
It makes for a great bedtime book to read to a kid but it is also the kind of book the kid will later pick on his own and will page through the book with great wonder and interest.