From School Library Journal
Grade 3-8?The sights, sounds, and emotions evident at a baseball game leap from Janeczko's poetry and Katchen's colorful pastel illustrations. Just about everything associated with the great American pastime is scrutinized, from the refreshments to pointers on how to spit, from fans to field positions and foul balls. The rhythm of the poetry parallels the rhythm of the players' movements. Janeczko's words animate the excitement of a double play and the almost hopeless attempts to make a rain delay pass quickly. There is a selection honoring a faithful female fan born the day that Yankee Stadium opened as well as a group of nuns who join in the fervor of the sport. Each poem is printed on a page facing an illustration done in an impressionistic style that gives the illusion of movement. This title is sure to be a popular choice for spring. Coupled with Lillian Morrison's At the Crack of the Bat (Hyperion, 1992), it creates a perfect poetic celebration of baseball.?Renee Steinberg, Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
From Janeczko (Home on the Range, 1997, etc.), an extremely appealing suite of poems that illuminate the plays and dramatis personae from before the game to after the last out. These poems have sweetness and rhythm, and focus on the game itself, perhaps with minor league or local players; there are small, sure poems to pitchers and infielders, to vendors, and to the arts of signs and spitting. In ``Before the Game,'' ``Girls with mitts/practice catches to be made''; ``Catcher Sings the Blues'' moans with the aches and pains of that position; ``A Curse Upon the Pitcher'' is a four-line taunt; and ``Things To Do During a Rain Delay'' will give a new generation some only slightly wicked ideas. Best of all is ``Section 7, Row 1, Seat 3'' about an elderly woman who ``measures life in baseball time'': ``Born the year Yankee Stadium opened . . . son born during Jackie Robinson's first season . . .'' and `` `Leaving before the last out . . . is like dying/before your time.' '' Newcomer Katchen's wonderful pastels, like chalk drawings in the rain, have the fuzziness of tender memories and fully complement the text. (Junior Library Guild) (Picture book. 7-12) -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.