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Baseball Hour Hardcover – March 1, 2008


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Baseball Hour + Karate Hour (Booklist Editor's Choice. Books for Youth (Awards)) + Soccer Hour
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 2—As in Karate Hour (2004) and Building with Dad (2006, both Marshall Cavendish), the minutia of a specific period in time is brought to eye-popping life. Nevius's rhyming text chronicles a baseball practice session. The warm-up and drills are overpowered by Thomson's unbelievably photorealistic illustrations. While the story is of a team's effort to come together, the up-close, sometimes off-kilter images serve to capture specific moments for the participants, as if the artist took a camera and shot off one snapshot after another. The action is implied by the amazing detail, such as the stretch of a wrinkled pant leg as a runner reaches out to tag a base, or the determined purse of a young batter's lips as he swings his bat. Moments are truly frozen in this book. The effect is an odd combination of sterility and drama. Readers will not learn anything new about baseball in terms of rules, history, or technique, but they will see young athletes who are squeezing every second out of their baseball hour.—Kara Schaff Dean, Walpole Public Library, MA
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From Booklist

This visually impressive picture book follows a multicultural group of boys and girls through their team’s baseball practice. They do warm-up exercises; practice throwing, batting, fielding, pitching, and catching; play a game; and end with their hands together, forming “a wheel of friends.” The last page shows them happily holding trophies, an odd conclusion to a practice session. The rhyming, rhythmic text works well enough, but as in Nevius and Thomson’s Karate Hour (2004), the photorealistic artwork, which a note describes as “rendered in mixed media,” steals the show. Technically impressive, the black, white, and sepia illustrations capture form, details, action, and gesture well, though there’s an element of idealism underlying the vision that makes the banter and informality of a kid’s baseball practice seem out of place here. Still, an eye-catching picture book for nonfiction collections. Grades 1-3. --Carolyn Phelan
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: 1st - 3rd
  • Lexile Measure: 640L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Two Lions (March 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761453806
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761453802
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 12.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #569,716 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Beccaboney VINE VOICE on June 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I saw this at the library and couldn't put it down. My oldest boy plays coach-pitched baseball and when he saw the cover of this book it caught his eye too. So I thumbed through it and took it home (can't read books at the library with 3 young kids.)

When we finally got around to reading it that night I couldn't get over how beautiful the illustrations were. SO realistic. So for me, the book was already wonderful. But then I started reading the words.... and that's when I realized how wonderful this book really is. It's all about how kids go to practice t-ball/baseball and work with a coach who encourages them, how fun the game is, having games, and how nice it is to be part of a team. Not the winning and losing aspect of the game that is so focused on at major league games, but the pure fun and enjoyment of the game from the perspective of a young child. And it rhymes too, so the kids are pretty focused on the words AND the illustrations.

Absolutely I would give this book more stars if I could. It's the perfect book for the t-baller in your life, and for any young child playing baseball. Would make a great gift too.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Baseball Hour is a beautifully produced picture book for children which talks in rhyming prose about a team getting ready for "baseball hour". They warmup, stretch, get their gloves, play the game, and extol the benefits of teamwork. The artwork has a surreal, almost photo-like quality to it. The faces of the children are expressive and realistic. The team is multi-gender and multi-cultural, encouraging all kids to play together. However, as another reviewer noted, the prose itself is rather simplistic for a topic that is hard for younger children to understand. My three year old didn't take to the black and white pictures of ball players, and my 7 year old didn't like the short rhyming prose. For example, here are 6 pages of the book (3 of text and 3 images):

"The batter slams a power hit
soaring past the shortstop's mitt."

"Catch that pop-up...throw it in."

"Tag the runner.... Out! We win!"

So not much meat to the book. When your kid is 7 and starts to be interested in baseball, this book doesn't say much. When they are younger, the book looks a little too mature to be interesting. I hate to give such a beautiful book 3 stars, but I really don't know who to recommend it to, hence 3 stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By delicateflower152 TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Carol Nevius' "Baseball Hour" is made even more special through Bill Thomason's exquisite illustrations. The simple poem making up the story celebrates physical activity - baseball/t-ball - having fun, and teamwork. The coach's encouragement and the emphasis on the game rather than winning or losing is refreshing.

"Baseball Hour" is an excellent, easy bedtime read for toddlers, and one beginning readers may want to read to the adults in their life. Adults will be entranced by the detailed, sepia illustrations; children may prefer more colorful pictures. "Baseball Hour" deserves five stars for the artwork alone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ellybean VINE VOICE on July 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Those with a love of the game will most assuredly appreciate Baseball Hour. This book captures what a day at baseball practice probably looks like for most children in little league. Whether boy or girl interested in the game or those whom already play, either would probably enjoy the tone set. The book at hand could definitely inspire determination and teamwork. I really liked that there is a variety of races and children of both sexes on the team displayed. Too often, I see only baseball and other sports booked geared primarily to boys.

I'll point out that the story inside seems much more like a short poem. It's written very well in a rhyming way and captures everything that would be happening during a practice. Players in the book are seen warming up, catching the ball, running, swinging, throwing, sliding, and working together as a team! I think this book would be great read a loud and would be a perfect book for beginning readers that also love baseball. I even believe children would easily begin to memorize the book after a few reads.

The illustrations in this book are excellently done and almost life like. The colors used are sepia yet with a hint black and white as well as red. The detail is well put such as those of the bases, field, and baseball gear of bats, balls, cleats, and mitts. The illustrator also completely captures the emotions that are most certainly seen by children during practice such as the looks of concentration, excitement, joy, and more!

Baseball Hour makes for a most desirable picture book to add to any collection whether for a child or for an adult.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Maura Ann Rubies TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book succeeds in immersing the reader in an environment where children are engaged in baseball practice.

The rhythmic words are mostly statements about different aspects of this practice, averaging about one sentence per page. Though they do not offer a story in a conventional sense, they do their job in enhancing the effect of the AMAZING illustrations.

These mainly monochromatic, photo-like images are powerful. They deserve their place as the obvious focus of this book. The reader actually feels like he/she is viewing the action up-close. The perspectives are exciting and inspire the imagination.

There's no one main character, which is consistent with the book's emphasis on teamwork. However, I was somewhat confused when the children went from practicing skills to playing an actual game. There was no real transition (like an illustration of the children forming two lines, dividing the team), so this fact wasn't made clear to me. I had to read the inside jacket to confirm that the team did split up to form two smaller teams. The divided teams then played a practice game.

Baseball Hour does manage to capture the excitement, determination, concentration and hard work involved in youth baseball. This book includes a variety of children. Boys and girls from different ethnicities are being represented in a positive way. Both a man and a woman are coaching on the field. No one is left out, here.

Love of people + love of baseball = Baseball Hour
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