From Publishers Weekly
Penned in 1888, Thayer's classic ballad is still as fresh as a rookie pitcher; it has earned its place in the Read-Aloud Hall of Fame. Though the style is slightly formal and young audiences may not catch every word ("upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat"), no one will miss the gist of the tale. With a few brief strokes of his brush, Fitzgerald captures an era-a hat of a certain style, a pair of glasses, the cut of a suit-and his light-dappled acrylics seem aged by a fine patina. He manipulates perspective to wonderful advantage, bringing a sense of movement to the pages: readers are now in the stands, now at third base, now behind the catcher as the mighty Casey prepares to swing at the ball. A home-run effort. Ages 6-10.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 5-Payne's caricatures, rendered in a mix of acrylics, watercolor, ink, oils, and colored pencils, are a marvel of texture and personality. Casey himself is the picture of pride-massive upper body, toothpick ankles, rosy cheeks, enormous sideburns, and a handlebar mustache. He's the essence of nonchalance as he steps up to the plate, acknowledging his adoring fans. Payne alternates panoramic spreads with single scenes facing a white page comprised of a stanza and visual detail. At the climax, an extreme close-up of "mighty Casey," smoke coming out of his ears and gums glistening, is followed by a two-page cyclone of empty air consuming the batter. Notes about Thayer and the poem complete the offering. Christopher Bing's version (Handprint, 2000), with its scrapbook setting, provides an elegant window to a distant event. Patricia Polacco's Casey at the Bat (PaperStar, 1997), with its youthful framing story, creates sympathy for and accessibility to a sandlot tragedy. Payne's version brings its own flavor to the classic poem. While the staging details evoke the past effectively, the humor and drama elicit immediate interest. Make room in your lineup for this one.Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.