Strolling through the children's section of our library, this cover caught my eye. Though it is about baseball, I was drawn to the illustrations by C.F. Payne. The pictures are realistic, but with a bit of whimsy and slight exaggerations of features. Instantly, I knew my sons would like this book.
The picture book, like the poem it is based upon, is arranged alphabetically naming twenty-four iconic baseball players. Two letters, I and Z, do not represent baseball players. Instead, I stands for the Incurable fan (poet Frederick Ogden Nash) and "Z is for Zenith..."
Lineup for Yesterday, by Ogden Nash features not only the poem, but biographical inserts for each of the players mentioned. The informative biographical notes were written by Nash's daughter, Linell Nash Smith. The book can be read in a couple of ways. For younger listeners the main alphabetical poem is sufficient, but for older audiences, the poem and biographical information can be poured over together.
Another book we read offered more comedy than history. Entitled Levi Strauss Gets a Bright Idea, the book's subtitle, A Fairly Fabricated Story of a Pair of Pants, hints at the tone to come. Written in the style of a tall tale, Tony Johnston tells the story of Levi Strauss and the invention of denim jeans.
The book had us laughing with delight as Strauss joins the California Gold Rush, only to discover he is late, there is no gold left, and the men's pants have disintegrated. Strauss laments his loss of gold and devises a way to fix the miners' pants problem. Like any good tall tale, these story elements stretch the historical facts and create a humorous adventure.
The book does conclude with a page telling the real story of Levi Strauss and denim jeans.
The final book I'll share today was read more for my youngest son. Solomon Crocodile, written by Catherine Rayner, is a fantastic read aloud book for preschoolers. The vocabulary used is perfect for my active boy! Verbs such as stalk, splats, slops, charges, and croaks are his kind of words. The repetition of several lines makes for a delightful read aloud.
Linked to Read-Aloud Thursday at Hope Is the Word where you will find a lot more great books!