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Say Hey!: A Song of Willie Mays Hardcover – January 1, 1900

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3-Known as the "Say Hey Kid" because of his youthful enthusiasm, Mays was a center fielder for the New York Giants and remains among the greatest home-run hitters in history. However, readers will understand these facts only after finishing the appendix. The rhyming text is often forced and awkward. The refrain of "Say hey, Willie. Say hey" is the one redeeming line that provides continuity. In fact, the simplicity of the narrative often results in confusion and lack of clarity-"It just don't matter, Willie Mays,/that I'm a poor kid just like you./-It doesn't matter. You're the best./There ain't nothin' we can't do!" Tate's colorful acrylic paintings were created by using live models and a digital-modeling computer program. Placement of the characters and objects shows exciting movement and action across the pages (such as the swinging of the bat and the picture of the ball sailing straight toward the audience) yet close-ups of facial features retain a surrealistic look. Mays's autobiography, Say Hey (S & S, 1988; o.p.), is for older readers, but easy biographies of the slugger are scarce. Librarians wanting some substance on this famous ballplayer will have to look further.
Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Hall of Fame centerfielder Willie Mays could do everything possible on a baseball field, and he did it all with a playground exuberance that is almost unimaginable in the modern era, when ballplayers discuss stock portfolios between innings. Mandel's sing-along text, using Mays' nickname, the Say Hey Kid, as the basis for its refrain, and Tate's computer-generated art effectively capture Mays' enthusiasm and irrepressible style. The text can't stand alone as a biography, but it does provide the basics about Mays' life: born in Alabama in 1931, he was discovered playing in the Negro Leagues and quickly established himself as a superstar in 1950s New York--often considered baseball's golden age. Tate's sharp-edged pictures boast vivid, sparkling colors and a vibrant immediacy, ideal for the subject, but the likeness of Mays is disconcertingly off the mark, as is the fact that he appears to be throwing left-handed in the re-creation of his famous catch and throw in the 1954 World Series. Nostalgic parents will overlook these flaws, however, in their eagerness to sing Say Hey Willie's song to their children. Bill Ott --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Jump At The Sun (March 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786824174
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786824175
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.4 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,540,265 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
A winner for adults as well as children! I grew up during the 1960s with baseball heroes like Willie Mays and Sandy Koufax, and reading this book with my two neices (4 and 7) was like revisiting a much-loved summer house or vacation spot. Although the girls knew very little about baseball, they loved the wonderful illustrations, and the lilting sing-song rhymes about the great Willie Mays. This book would be especially appreciated by children from ethnic groups who don't always see themselves represented in major league sports: Willie didn't harp about race or racial discrimination, he just played the best game of baseball he could. Highly recommended.
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