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Smarty Marty's Got Game Hardcover – October 15, 2013
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From School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-Smarty Marty and her brother, Mikey, have tickets to the baseball game against their hometown team's biggest rivals. But Mikey isn't really a fan, especially when comparing baseball to video games. Lucky for him, his sister is the perfect companion to give him an appreciation for it, from keeping score to chowing down on snacks to walk-off home runs. Smarty Marty learned everything she knows about baseball from her great grandmother, and the narrative effectively captures the way families share both the love of a sport and of a particular team. The author capably weaves a substantial amount of basic information about baseball throughout, making this picture book a useful tool for families or caregivers looking to introduce children to the sport or prepare them for their first game. The kids' narrative occasionally takes a backseat to this background material, but McCauley's visually engaging cartoon layouts, unique perspectives, and overlayed frames capture the excitement of watching a live game. The vibrant color scheme largely emphasizes purples, greens, and oranges, with plenty of contrasting black and white accents. Back matter includes a biographical author note and tips for keeping score.-Ted McCoy, Oakland Public Library, CAα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journal. LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
A San Francisco Giants in-game reporter, Gutierrez delivers a primer not just on baseball in general but on the intricacies of scoring the game like a pro and pitching the slang like a fastball. Baseball-lover Marty wants to teach her younger brother, baseball-doubter Mikey, to love the game as much as she does, so she takes him to the stadium, where she handily shows off her copious knowledge. Marty learned to love the game from her great-grandmother, and she’s determined to pass along the enthusiasm and teach Mikey some valuable information: What does a backward K mean? What’s a 6–4–3? What do you call the first two hitters? What are you telling someone when you shout, “Grab some pine?” McCauley hits a homer with clean, charming art that gives emotional investment to the facts and captures moments of the game in its greatest glory. From first pitch to grand slam, Gutierrez delivers a fun, snappy lesson. A joy for new fans and seasoned pros dying to share their love of the game. Grades 1-3. --Jesse Karp
Top customer reviews
This cute little book is perfect for young baseball fans because it teaches them there is more to watching a game than just seeing the ball get hit and eating hot dogs.
Helping youngsters learn to keep score is a great way to get them interested in the strategy of the game, the situational pitching, where the defense stands for a particular batter, why the ball is thrown to a certain base at a given time. Scorekeeping opens up discussions about all these things and more.
In the beginning of the book, Marty's little brother thinks baseball is "boring." It doesn't take long for Marty to show him how interesting and fun baseball can be.
Also, this book is not only well written, the illustrations are wonderful, the colors bright, the paper heavy -- a quality print which will last a long time.