Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4.5
What did you like about the book? A delightful picture book biography of Mickey Mantle. Using engaging conversational language, the small-town of Mantle’s boyhood and the quirks of his family and health provide an engrossing background without taking away from the exciting pacing and descriptions of his rise to fame. The excellent illustrations are done in acrylics and pencil and evoke exactly the time and place, with masterful use of light: the early morning light of Commerce, Oklahoma; the bright light of day when Mantle’s father would drill him in hitting; the shadow of his team cap on his tear-stained face. A perfect read-aloud for kindergarten and up.
Anything you didn’t like about it? Although there is an author’s note before the title page, I would have loved to see source notes for kids to use in a biography project.
To whom would you recommend this book? Other excellent picture book biographies of baseball players to read aloud: There Goes Ted Williams (Tavares), Hank Aaron: Brave in Every Way (Golenbock), and Queen of the Diamond: The Lizzie Murphy Story (McCully).
Who should buy this book? Elementary school and public libraries
Where would you shelve it ? Biography
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? If you’re a baseball fan, then yes.
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA
Date of review: 3/4/2017