Thursday, January 24, 2008
Casey Back at Bat
Gutman, Dan. 2007. CASEY BACK AT BAT. Ill. by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher. New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0060560256 [Suggested Grade Levels 2 – up]
What if the mighty Casey of Mudville fame got another crack at bat? So goes this sequel to Ernest Lawrence Thayer's classic Casey at the Bat. Casey connects this time and the ball flies out of the park and around the world wrecking havoc hitting a certain tower in Pisa making it lean, knocking the nose off the sphinx in Egypt, traveling back in time and in outer space, among other things before coming back to the ballpark and well, there still is no joy in Mudville. Gutman’s text is not the masterpiece Thayer produced. Sometimes the pacing falters and the rhyme is forced, but the illustrators more than make up for the weakness of text. Johnson and Fancher ‘s paintings capture the spirit of the parody in rich sepia tones. Textured with vintage newspapers the illustrations evoke another time and place. Granite-jawed hero, Casey bursts with energy fighting for his vindication. Readers need to be familiar with the original to fully enjoy the fun, but opportunities for both learning and entertainment abound when the Caseys are paired.
This book provides the perfect opportunity to introduce young readers to the classic Thayer poem with its archaic language and all. Provide a selection of the versions and compare/contrast.
Other books about Casey and baseball:
Christopher, Matt. GREAT MOMENTS IN BASEBALL HISTORY. ISBN 0978031614307
Thayer, Ernest Lawrence. CASEY AT THE BAT.ISBN 9780698115576
Thayer Ernest Lawrence. CASEY AT THE BAT: A BALLAD OF THE REPUBLIC
SUNG IN THE YEAR 1888. ISBN 9780641880148
By Jane H. Claes