Friday, March 22, 2019

Rosenstock Hits a Homer with YOGI The Life, Loves, and Language of Baseball Legend Yogi Berra

I bet many folks are like me. I don’t follow baseball, but I’m a big fan of Yogi Berra. This hall-of-famer captured the heart of America with his ball playing and his banter. Now, there will be a new generation of Yogi fans thanks to Barb Rosenstock’s newest picture book biography Yogi: The Life, Loves, and Language of Baseball Legend Yogi Berra.

Who wouldn’t love the friendly Bassett-hound face on the cover charmingly illustrated by Terry Widener (who also illustrated The Streak: How Joe DiMaggio Became America’s Hero, Girl Wonder: A Baseball Story in Nine Innings, and Lou Gehrig, The Luckiest Man). Each page is a tribute to America’s favorite pastime, and Yogi, outlined in white like a halo, is the star.

Barb let’s Yogi speak for himself right from the beginning, and I know there will be thousands of kids across the country waiting for someone to ask them, “How do you like school?” just so they can answer, “Closed!” Readers’ brains will churn trying to figure out some of Yogi’s best lines.

Kids will also relate to a character that didn’t fit the mold. Yogi didn’t let other people’s opinions stop him from doing what he loved, and Barb uses this struggle expertly as the through-line to give the story momentum.

Like Yogi, this book is “simple, honest, funny and wise.” It has heart. A hit for baseball fans, those who just want to read a great story, and for writers interested in studying a well-crafted picture book biography.

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