Becoming Babe Ruth

This post joins other
Nonfiction Monday blogs
hosted today by Wrapped in Foil
and joins It's Monday!
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Candlewick Press
(pub. 2.12.2013) 40 pages 

A True Tale with A Cherry On Top

A uthor and Illustrator: Matt Tavares
haracter: Babe Ruth

O verview from the jacket flap: 

      "Before becoming the Babe, George Herman Ruth is just a boy who lives in Baltimore and gets into a lot of trouble. But when he tuns seven, his father brings him to the gates of Saint Mary's Industrial School of Boy, and his life is changed forever.
       At Saint Mary's, George is expected to follow a lot of rules - and he gets to play baseball almost every day. Under the watchful eye of Brother Matthias, George evolves as a player and as a man, when he sets of into the wild world of big-league baseball, his family back at Saint Mary's is never far from his heart.
      Matt Tavares's striking homage ... conveys an important message about honoring the place from which you came."

T antalizing taste: 

"A fire has swept through
Saint Mary's Industrial School for Boys.
Nearly every building has been destroyed.
Babe Ruth has an idea.
He writes a letter to Brother Matthias...
For the final two weeks
of the 1920 baseball season,
the school bank form Saint Mary's
gets to join the New York Yankees
on a road trip across America...
The fifty boys from Saint Mary's
get to go to all the games.
They play a concert in the stands
before each game
and another concert every night...
to help rebuild the place where
the 'Sultan of Swat'
learned how to play baseball." 

and something more: I've been featuring baseball player picture books lately -- must be a summer series!  I like that this story not only pays tribute to the enormous influence of Father Matthias in helping Babe Ruth develop into a star baseball play, but also the focus on the need to practice, practice, practice one's passion. As author/illustrator Matt Tavares explains in the Author's Note: "As a lifelong baseball fan, I've always been fascinated by Babe Ruth. As I researched his life, one thing that struck me was the fact that even the 'Sultan of Swat,' who seemed to possess superhuman abilities, needed lots of help along the way. Becoming the king of baseball took countless hours of practice and plenty of support and guidance from his school and from his teacher and mentor, Brother Matthias." 


Roberta said...

Really appreciate the message that practice is important, plus about Babe Ruth giving back to those who helped him become a great ball player.

Thanks for sharing this book today.

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

I agree Roberta. I too liked the story's focus on the appreciation Babe Ruth had for those who helped him as a child and the fact that even someone with amazing talent still needed to practice, practice, practice and work hard.

Jeff Barger said...

Babe Ruth is such a colorful figure. Can you imagine him in the age of Twitter and Instagram? It's good to see his generosity is being highlighted. Can't get enough of good baseball biographies!

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Yes, quite the character! I think that's why I also like the focus of this story -- his focus on helping those in his past who helped him. Thanks, Jeff, for stopping by for another baseball biography.

Myra Garces-Bacsal from GatheringBooks said...

Hi Jeanne, thank you for sharing this picture book. I also teach about 'deliberate practice' in connection with attaining/achieving expertise in one's domain. Seems like a book that I could read aloud to my graduate students who are taking their masters in gifted and talented education. :) Hope you're enjoying the summer!

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Hi Myra! That's a terrific idea. I think it's wonderful to share picture books with ALL ages -- I often used them to teach writing techniques to middle-schoolers (plus it brought out the sweet child side of them :)) Hope you're enjoying your summer, too!