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Just Like Josh Gibson Paperback – January 9, 2007
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Enter "Just Like Josh Gibson". Another worthy picture book from the multi-talented and remarkably gifted Angela Johnson. Book editors like to pair Johnson with an array of different illustrators, and it is just our luck that the one chosen for this particular book is the multi-talented Beth Peck. The story is told by a grandmother to her granddaughter about her baseball playing past. Here we see the grandmother as a skinny black child in a long pink dress. Taught to play baseball by her father she's a natural at the game. The balls she hits soar out of sight, though those watching her chant to themselves, "But too bad she's a girl... Too bad she's a girl...". The girl's chance comes at last when one of the boys, her cousin Danny, on a local baseball team hurts his arm. Changing into her cousin's shoes (pink dress still firmly in place), she wins the game and remembers years later how good it felt to hear the cheers while stealing home. The book ends with a historical note about the legendary Josh Gibson (a player that the Grandmother always idolized) as well as additional information (well cited) about the role of women in the game. I was especially interested in learning that a woman once played in the Negro Leagues when slugger Hand Aaron left to join the Braves.Read more ›
This is mostly the story of a young girl who wants to play with the kids in her town, but girls aren't supposed to play ball. Still, she practices and she's good, and she does get to play.
**Note to publishers and authors -- that's enough free verse.** If it were not for Beth Peck's illustrations (looks like oil pastels) in this book, I would have rated it lower. We need books written in standard English.