Casey at the Bat

by Ernest Thayer
illustrated by Christopher Bing

Subtitled "A Ballad of the Republic Sung in the Year 1888", this book presents this classic baseball ballad by Ernest Thayer as a newly- discovered, 100-year-old scrapbook, with each spread devoted to a scene from the poem and full of large, detailed historic drawings and small bits of memorabilia 'scattered' throughout.

Bing's creative scrapbook format is a browsers delight, even if you aren't much of a baseball fan. With all the recreated realia--game tickets, old baseball cards, fake newspaper clippings, etc--you can't not POUR over the pages. Note: Quite a few words in this century-old ballad will undoubtedly be unfamiliar to children. Therefore, this title is probably most appropriate as an adult-directed read, as oppposed to independent reading.

If you are teaching poetry (esp ballads) in the class- room, it could be fun to show the different treatments of this historic poem in various children's books. Gather other version and have students compare and contrast the books. (We suggest the versions by C.F. Payne, Patricia Polacco, and Dan Gutman).

Awards Won
  - Caldecott Honor Book 2001
  - American Library Association Notable Children's Book 2001

Interest Level:   Grade 3+

See inside
Below are three sample spreads from inside this book:

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This book won the prestigious Caldecott Medal for best children's books. Check out our list of all the books that have won the Caldecott Medal.