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Casey at the Bat: A Ballad of the Republic Sung in the Year 1888 (Caldecott Honor Book) [Hardcover]

By Ernest Lawrence Thayer (Author) & Christopher Bing (Illustrator)
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Item description for Casey at the Bat: A Ballad of the Republic Sung in the Year 1888 (Caldecott Honor Book) by Ernest Lawrence Thayer & Christopher Bing...

Presents the popular narrative poem about a celebrated baseball player who strikes out at the crucial moment of a game as a scrapbook of antique woodcuts, clippings from Mudville newspapers, and other memorabilia.

Publishers Description
"And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout; But there is no joy in Mudville-mighty Casey has struck out." Those lines have echoed through the decades, the final stanza of a poem published pseudonymously in the June 3, 1888, issue of the San Francisco Examiner. Its author would rather have seen it forgotten. Instead, Ernest Thayer's poem has taken a well-deserved place as an enduring icon of Americana. Christopher Bing's magnificent version of this immortal ballad of the flailing 19th-century baseball star is rendered as though it had been newly discovered in a hundred-year-old scrapbook. Bing seamlessly weaves real and trompe l'oeil reproductions of artifacts-period baseball cards, tickets, advertisements, and a host of other memorabilia into the narrative to present a rich and multifaceted panorama of a bygone era. A book to be pored over by children, treasured by aficionados of the sport-and given as a gift to all ages: a tragi-comic celebration of heroism and of a golden era of sport.

Awards and Recognitions
Casey at the Bat: A Ballad of the Republic Sung in the Year 1888 (Caldecott Honor Book) by Ernest Lawrence Thayer & Christopher Bing has received the following awards and recognitions -
  • Caldecott Medal - 2001 Honor Book - Picture Book category

Citations And Professional Reviews
Casey at the Bat: A Ballad of the Republic Sung in the Year 1888 (Caldecott Honor Book) by Ernest Lawrence Thayer & Christopher Bing has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Wilson Children's Catalog - 01/01/2010 page 687
  • Publishers Weekly - 11/06/2000 page 89
  • Kirkus Review - Children - 12/01/2000 page 1689
  • School Library Journal - 01/01/2001 page 124
  • Booklist - 02/15/2001 page 1136
  • Horn Book Magazine - 03/01/2001 page 222
  • New York Times - 04/15/2001 page 25
  • ALA Notable Childrens Books - 01/01/2001 page 1378
  • Hornbook Guide to Children - 01/01/2001 page 407
  • Hornbook Guide to Children - 07/01/2001 page 407
  • School Library Journal - 11/01/2002
  • Wilson Children's Catalog - 01/01/2006 page 443

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Item Specifications...

Pages   32
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 9.25" Height: 12.25"
Weight:   1.15 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Oct 1, 2000
Publisher   Handprint Books
Age  8-11
ISBN  1929766009  
ISBN13  9781929766000  
UPC  812242000010  

Availability  0 units.

More About Ernest Lawrence Thayer & Christopher Bing

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Christopher Bing, whose first book, "Casey at the Bat," was named a 2001 Caldecott Honor Book, lives with his wife and three children in Lexington, Massachusetts, in a house directly on the Freedom Trail, the route on which Paul Revere rod

Ernest Lawrence Thayer was born in 1863 and died in 1940.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Children > Ages 9-12 > General
2Books > Subjects > Children > Literature > Poetry > General
3Books > Subjects > Children > Sports & Activities > Sports > Baseball > Nonfiction
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States

Reviews - What do customers think about Casey at the Bat: A Ballad of the Republic Sung in the Year 1888 (Caldecott Honor Book)?

Must have book for kids of all ages - whether you like baseball or not.  Jun 8, 2007
As an admitted father of two toddlers, book lover, history buff and baseball fan, my review may seem like the most biased you could read. Yes, I do love this book on many levels.

But I have shared this book with children and adults of all ages -- many that care less about baseball, sports or history -- and all have been captivated by the illustrations and unbelievable level of detail Christopher Bing brought to this book.

Indeed, it is "copiously and faithfully illustrated" by the author. Every time you pick up this book you will be rewarded for your attention: it is filled with interesting little images of ads, money and baseball-related items from the period.

This book will surprise and delight you, again and again. Nice job, Mr. Bing. Very nice job.
Home run!  Dec 11, 2006
Anyone who loves baseball, poetry, or amazingly intricate illustrations will love this book. I've used it in the classroom as part of units on poetry and baseball and it's always a hit. Great stuff!
What a wonderful rendition of one of my favorite (and many others) poems! Not only do I like this book my self (I actually own the thing), but I have found it to be very useful in school and in teaching young grandsons. The author has taken the classic poem of Casey at the Bat and turned it into a piece of art and a history lesson all in one. He has used old newspaper clippings of the late 1800s as a back ground to his wonderful illustrations. A close look at these clippings reveal that they enhance and go along with the story quite well. Not only do the kids (I use this for 3rd graders through 6th graders) get to hear, as I read the book to them, one of our classic "fun poems" but they get a great history lesson as we discuss the context of the story with the newspaper background. It is rather amazing, upon close examination, just how much extras information the author has packed into this book. Now I realize that this is classified as a juvenal book, which I think is a real shame as it will possible divert the attention of older baseball fans and they will miss out on quite a lot. That is a pity. This book is actually quite suitable for a baseball fan of any age. I know I treasure my copy at well over sixty years old...of course I must admit to still having a lot of little boy in me, still. Highly recommend this one.
Best book ever  May 18, 2006
I loved this book. I loved how they took a old poem and put it in to a book!!! So if could 1,000,000 copies of one book Cassey at the Bat would be it!!!
Mudville Strikes Again: A Version for Older Kids Who Love Baseball   Apr 25, 2006
Christopher Bing's version of Ernest Thayer's "Casey at the Bat" is a must for serious baseball fans of any age. He presents the Thayer's classic ballad in a scrapbook/folio format, the poem superimposed against a "yellowed" and torn newspaper. For authenticity--and baseball fans are sticklers for details--Bing uses period font from the era, draws black and white line pictures resembling hand-engravings (it wasn't until 1890 that newspapers replaced engravings with the speedier photoengraving technique), and layers the whole effort with printed ephemera, including "caveat emptor" (let the buyer beware) medicinal ads, newspaper clippings about baseball, and memorabilia such as money, tickets, and medallions. I know about the birth of newspaper photoengraving only because Bing includes a lot of interesting history (and copious acknowledgements) in the newspaper-formatted endpapers.

The strength of the poem is unquestioned; "Casey" is so firmly engrained in the national psyche that the Library of Congress lists him as a real person, complete with birthdate. Dozens of authors mimicked or enhanced the piece, and the ballad's illustrators include Leroi Neiman, Barry Moser, and Patricia Polacco. Bing's choice of (mostly) drab colors will probably lose a younger audience; Patricia Polacco corners that demographic with her warm and wonderfully loopy style. Nor does Bing add any overt story features; Polacco changes the setting to a contemporary Little League game, and frames the story with some family dynamics between Casey, his sister, and the game's umpire-his dad!

Where Bing excels is context. Obviously, he displays the style and format of printed materials in his pseudo-engravature, and his fictionalized but historically accurate newspaper clippings. More importantly, however, he shows how the tight interweaving of baseball and society. Baseball, like the Constitution (Scalia and Thomas dissenting) and the performing arts in general, changes with the times. Back in 1888, baseball had one umpire, used one ball throughout the game, and lacked fences (one amusing clipping tells of a fan absconding with a ball so that the opposing team couldn't field it). In 1888, African-American players played alongside Whites, but the writing is on the wall, one telling clip hints at the eventual banning of all but Caucasian players.

Bing makes a few errors (one of his newspaper accounts praises Casey's hitting in another game, but the box score shows that he went 0 for 5), and he normalizes Casey--his face shows reasonable emotion, not the overwrought feelings that Thayer describes in his grand, faux-epic style.

However, the book casts an impressively broad net over an entire era, and look ahead towards the inevitable change. It's a great model for similar classroom projects, and Bing's research and color illuminate the reciprocity between society and game like no other. Still, this is not a book for young kids (except for those who are really, really into baseball, and who have the attention span to pour over the ephemera). The overall look is a grayish/yellow drab, with specks of color, and Bing packs in a lot of information. I believe Bing would agree that it's not the definitive or even the best "Casey" version for all ages-what could be?--even with its Caldecott honor and a legion of fans.

Bing's "copious and faithfully illustrated" achievement (and ultimately, much of the book's following stems from its achievement in research and illustration, as opposed to its entertainment value for kids) is impressive, educational, and maps neatly onto Thayer's poem. It's easy to imagine kids from older elementary school through middle school, as well as adult fans, pouring over every background detail as Casey's sneers one more time.

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