March 10, 2016

Review: Baseball History for Kids with 19 Activities by Richard Panchyk

Title: Baseball History for Kids
Author: Richard Panchyk

Baseball History for Kids is a fascinating and unique journey through the modern history of America’s favorite pastime. Kids will discover how the game has changed over the years, reading about topics such as the Dead Ball Era, World War II, segregation and integration, Bonus Babies, the Reserve Clause and Free Agency, and the Designated Hitter. Along the way, they’ll enjoy firsthand quotes and stories from more than 175 former major leaguers who were eyewitnesses to and participants in baseball’s most incredible feats and biggest moments.  
Readers will also get an intimate look at the game’s greatest legends, from Babe Ruth, Satchel Paige, and Ted Williams to Jackie Robinson, Mickey Mantle, and Willie Mays, including insightful and amusing anecdotes from former teammates and opponents. They will gain additional insight into the game through 19 interesting activities. Children will learn how to calculate a player’s batting average and ERA, throw a palmball, design a logo for their favorite team, cook a bowl of Cracker Jack, and more. The book also includes a time line and list of books, websites, and places to visit.

If you have a young baseball fan (or even not so young) this would be a great book for them.  My husband got me into baseball from our first date.  We are now season ticket holders for the MN Twins!  He knows a ton about the game and has taught me a lot, but there is still so much I don't get.  Instead of having to bug him I found answers in this book!  Yes, yes it covers the history of baseball, but it has fantastic sidebars that explain things like calculating ERA and batting average.  I really liked the section on how to keep score by hand.  Don't laugh at me but I didn't know each position was numbered! I love that I can turn to this book and relearn those things.  And I really think young kids would feel the same.

Ok beyond that the history is well done.  It's broken down into several sections from 1901 thru today.  Each section has smaller stories about things that happened during that time.  There were stories about the first measured home run (with a tape measure!) and stealing signs and messing up players.  You could pick a bit here and then to read and eventually move your way through the whole book.  

About the activities:  Some are ones I'm not sure a kid would do on his or her own - like writing a poem about baseball.  But others might be fun.  I want to try the one about keeping score for the next game I go to.  I think it would help me understand the game even better.  I also liked the activity about coming up with nicknames.  I can see some kids really having fun with that!

Lastly the pictures - the book has many pictures of baseball thru history.  They were fun to look at.  I'm guessing that when my 8 year old gets to finally have this book he'll spend a lot of time paging through it looking at the pictures and reading what grabs his attention.

Final thought:  If you have a young baseball fan it would be a great addition to their library. 

1 comment:

  1. I am a big baseball fan, and I hadn't heard of this book. Thanks for telling me about it. I will be checking it out.