Christopher Jordan, a Toronto author and Little League coach, uses the game of baseball to introduce young sports aficionados to early learning concepts.
In Baseball Opposites, short sentences such as “A baseball is small” and “A baseball stadium is big,”
provide meaningful comparisons. The visual presentation of the words also helps in comprehension, such as the flame-licked typeface for “hot’ and the corresponding icicle-encrusted typeface for “cold.” To exemplify the idea of “up/down,” the words appear in motion, first like a pop fly soaring up the side of one page, and then following the downward trajectory of a grounder on the facing page. Some of the opposite pairings only make sense within the context of the sport, such as “safe/out.”
In Baseball Animals, a question and answer format challenges readers to guess the identity of animals associated with professional teams. Picture clues of tigers, cardinals and marlins are accompanied by quick facts about their unique traits. The following page reveals a player outfitted in the team’s animal logo, along with a brief statement about the history of their club.
Officially licensed by Major League Baseball, these two books offer a high-interest hit of sports trivia. Colourful action photographs capture athletes running bases, hitting foul balls, and sliding to home plate. Some baseball terms may not be familiar without a previous knowledge of the game, but it doesn’t detract from the enjoyment, rather it will spark further exploration. Baseball fans will find plenty to cheer about in this winning series.
Linda Ludke is a librarian at London Public Library. Her reviews have appeared in Quill and Quire, School Library Journal and CM: Canadian Review of Materials. When she’s not reading and writing she also loves searching for vintage treasures.