Perfect Picture Book Friday: ALL STAR!

TITLE: ALL STAR! HONUS WAGNER and the MOST FAMOUS BASEBALL CARD EVER

AUTHOR: Jane Yolen

ILLUSTRATOR: Jim Burke

PUBLICATION INFO: Penguin’s Philomel, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-399-24661-6

SOURCE: Library

INTENDED AUDIENCE: ages 6-8 (Publisher’s recommendation)

GENRE: picture book biography

OPENING and SYNOPSIS:

“In July 2007 a rare baseball card was sold at auction for almost three million dollars.”

From the publisher’s Website:

The Honus Wagner baseball card is the most valuable baseball card of all time! But he was born poor, ugly, bow-legged, and more suited to shoveling coal in his Pennsylvania mining town than becoming the greatest shortstop of all time. How could it happen? Did those strong arms and fast legs turn him into a Pittsburgh Pirate and one of the game’s most unforgettable players?

In this true story, Jane Yolen shows us that wit, talent, perseverance, and passion score more than home runs. As Honus would say, “How about that!”

THEMES/TOPICS: baseball, perseverance

WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK: As Yolen points, out Wagner was a star in the days before performance enhancing drugs and fancy training schedules. As an early teen, he gained strength and endurance by working in the coal mines of Pennsylvania alongside his father. Also, the reason Wagner’s card is so rare, is because he had it pulled from the market. The card was found in packs of cigarettes. Wagner was a nonsmoker and worried about the health of his young fans.

RESOURCES/ACTIVITIES:

Every Friday bloggers review “Perfect Picture Books.” Find a complete list of book reviews organized by topic, genre and blogger at author Susanna Leonard Hill’s site.

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13 Replies to “Perfect Picture Book Friday: ALL STAR!”

  1. A great inspiration for kids. I can’t believe how lazy some are these days, compared to our parents etc.

  2. Kirsten, love the sounds of this book. I knew about how valuable his card was – but did not know the connection with Honus having had it pulled from circulation. What an caring and honorable thing to do! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Great pick today with baseball season around the corner. Didn’t know about Honus Walker, but I do love historical fiction. And anything Jane Yolen writes is always a hit with me. Like someone that has that kind of integrity. Great choice.

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