Reviews for ABCs of Baseball

Booklist Reviews 2012 February #1
Do you have an eager T-baller who doesn't know what it means to call up a southpaw from the bullpen with the pennant on the line? Then test the waters of your potential fan with this lighthearted entry. Admittedly, dividing information, gear, terminology, and so on into alphabetical sections may not be the clearest method of introducing the game, and the net cast by sports journalist Golenbock is maddeningly large and haphazardly employed. Why are the Babe and Alexander Cartwright the only people to merit dedicated entries? And, in a book filled with facts, is this really an appropriate J entry? "Joy: What you feel watching the game." These quibbles aside, baseball is loaded with fun jargon to decipher (can of corn, hot corner), and Andreasen's wistful, color-faded illustrations of anonymous players in action and sports ephemera (baseball cards, Cracker Jack) give things a summery, nostalgic tone. Golenbock hits for the win in the bottom of the ninth: the back matter, filled with fun facts, pitch grips, awards, stats, and more, shines. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Fall
This is an unusual alphabet book in that it lists numerous examples for each letter. For example, B lists twelve items, from Babe to bunt. A brief definition is included for each term, giving the reader a broad overview of the vocabulary and an understanding of baseball. Muted illustrations enhance the book, and an addendum extends the concise test.

Kirkus Reviews 2012 February #1
Words and phrases associated with the national pastime are explained for young fans. What does a pinch hitter do? What does it mean when a player's number is retired? What should you do during Seventh-Inning Stretch? All these and many other terms are explained clearly and concisely in Golenbeck's beginning dictionary of baseball. The focus is on a young fan's first experiences as a spectator at a professional game, including what will be seen, heard and tasted. So there is information about the green grass, whether natural or artificial, the hot dogs, peanuts and Crackerjacks and the calls of the umpires. The entries, varying in number depending on the letter, are set on a background of faint pinstripes. Each upper-case letter, resembling the stitching on uniforms, appears above the entries in dark royal blue on a field of white and is encircled in red. Andreasen variably depicts the action, the accoutrements and the fans' activities and reactions in large-scale drawings employing soft earth tones contrasted with a few touches of brighter hues. A section of "fun facts" follows the dictionary and presents a great deal of further information with the same clarity and accessibility. Golenbeck definitely conveys more than the facts. An entry for J says it all: "Joy: What you feel watching the game." (Informational picture book. 5-9) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 February #1

Golenbock defines several baseball terms and phrases for each letter of the alphabet, the entries and their definitions appearing in trim sidebars that let Andreasen's artwork take center stage. Figures like Babe Ruth and Alexander Cartwright ("The man who invented baseball") are mentioned alongside terms like "bases loaded," "fielder's choice," "line drive" and "southpaw," which all receive brief definitions. Andreasen offers muted images of players batting, sliding into base, and pitching, as well as scenes of families enjoying games together and nostalgic still-lifes of well-worn uniforms, pennants, and other memorabilia. While there are a few weak entries (such as "questions" and "quotations" for Q), this is a soft-tempo and fairly comprehensive guide for fans looking to hone their baseball vocabulary. Additional baseball facts including stats, awards, teams, and trivia appear in appended pages. Ages 6-8. (Feb.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 April

K-Gr 3--This picture book presents an A-to-Z look at the sport that will be paged through again and again. Golenbock gives readers clear concise one- or two-sentence explanations with multiple entries per letter, such as "A is for "Ace," "America's Pastime," "April," "Around the horn," and "At bat"; R includes "RBI" (Run Batted In), "Relief Pitcher," "Retired number," and "Rookie." Andreasen's painterly artwork enhances the text with baseball scenery and detailed close-ups of expressive faces. Weaker letters such as X ("Looks like the stitches in your glove") and Y ("Y'er out!") are nonetheless beautifully illustrated. The added background matter in "Fun Facts" gives readers intricate drawings of hands showing pitch grips and a baseball diamond and a chart listing both American and National League teams. Adults and group leaders wanting to clarify some essential rules and phrases for young fans can enjoy this handsome addition to their baseball repertoire.--Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA

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