Reviews for Clemente!

Booklist Reviews 2010 February #2
Perdomo's witty, passionate account of the beloved Puerto Rican baseball pioneer takes an unusual approach. The child narrator, whose father is president of the Roberto Clemente fan club, was named in honor of the great player, and little Clemente can tell you just about everything there is to know about the man, from his childhood to his staggering statistics. More important, the boy's mother reminds him, were Clemente's off-field heroics as a staunch family man, battler of racism, and humanitarian; he tragically died in a plane crash bringing relief supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. Bits of Spanish are gracefully sprinkled into the narrative: the father tells his boy, "When your teacher takes attendance, / and she calls ‘Clemente,' / you stand up and say, ‘¡Presente!'" Collier's kinetic artwork uses collage to explosive effect in scenes of number 21 wielding a bat, and somber directness in a desolate spread of endless ocean waves. More than just a biography, this book warmly illustrates the parent-child bond that is one of the finer by-products of sports fandom. Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2010 Fall
In Spanish-sprinkled animated free verse, a young boy named Clemente (to honor the Hall of Famer) recites the ballplayer's awesome statistics. The text describes the sports legend's dedication to family and the humanitarian work that ended with his untimely death while bringing aid to earthquake victims. Collier's watercolor and collage illustrations are vividly compelling. Reading list, timeline, websites. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2010 February #2
Riding the tide of his own father's ("president of the GREATEST FANS OF ROBERTO CLEMENTE CLUB, Boogie-down Bronx chapter") hero worship, a young narrator named after the great ball player and humanitarian highlights Clemente's life and achievements up to that fatal "last sacrifice fly" (he was killed in the crash of a plane filled with earthquake-relief supplies in 1972), then pays homage to his strength of character, his belief that "con respeto, / con orgullo, with faith, with hope, / with belief in yourself…/ anything is possible in this world." Collier lights up Perdomo's cadenced, half-rhyming text even further with kaleidoscopic watercolor-and-collage portraits and abstract scenes, predominantly in warm browns and golds. Though, like Jonah Winter's similar but lower-key biography, Roberto Clemente, Pride of the Pittsburgh Pirates, illustrated by Raul Colón (2005), there's no chart of Clemente's outstanding career stats, heartfelt personal statements from the author and illustrator add a shiny finish to this infectiously energetic tribute. (timeline, sources) (Picture book/biography. 7-9) Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2010 May #1

The joy of hero worship is on full display in this tribute to "Puerto Rican prince" Roberto Clemente, the first Latin American Hall of Famer, who died in 1972 while flying on a humanitarian mission to Nicaragua. The young narrator, named Clemente by his diehard fan father ("ask him why he thinks that the number 21 should be retired forever"), knows "all the stats, and I can tell you todo, everything" about Clemente. And if he forgets something, another family fan, his mother, "jumps in and reminds us that he was a good father and a good son," who "nunca abandon su sueo" of a better and more just world. Perdomo (previously paired with Collier on Visiting Langston) strikes just the right note of precocious breathlessness, punctuating his text with Spanish to convey a people's enormous pride in one of their own ("Clemente! Clemente! It's us, tu gente! Clemente! Clemente! Prince of the baseball diamante!"). Collier's watercolor and collage pictures have a burnished look worthy of a heartfelt hagiography while at the same time evoking the dynamism of a genuine superstar athlete. Ages 6-up. (May)

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