Sunday, September 28, 2014
joltin' Joe DiMaggio, written by Jonah Winter and illustrated by James E Ransome. Atheneum, Simon & Schuster. 2014. $21.99 ages 6 and up
The Yankees and Derek Jeter finish their 2014 season today, and the storied team says farewell to yet another baseball hero. The postseason is sure to be a great distraction as the weather cools and we spend more time in front of the television. We all have players whose talent we admire, and that makes the watching even more inspiring.
So much has been written about past baseball heroes, and Joe DiMaggio is no exception. As he has done in previous picture book biographies, Jonah Winter brings his passion for research and a love of story to his book about baseball's Joltin' Joe. He ably captures the personality and spirit of the man, showing his young readers why Joe was honoured beyond the statistics of his many successful seasons.
His early years in San Francisco are captured by James Ransome in glowing watercolours that offer a strong setting and context for his time in history. Joe knows that following in the footsteps of his fisherman father is not what he wants to do. Only his innate and incredible talent for baseball will allow for his own personal success as a rookie replacement for the great Babe Ruth. As Joe climbs the ladder to that.success as one of baseball's greatest players, we are witness to his strong character and the esteem that so many fans felt for him. Even today fans are intrigued by his career and lasting records.
At the time he played, people were fascinated by the sport and every aspect of it...major, minor and even local teams, the players, their personal lives. They knew the stats and followed their team with fervour. Jonah Winter allows us to follow Joe's stellar career, including his many achievements and still held records. Quite the amazing story it is, and we feel that right to the end.
Back matter includes an author's note, statistics, awards and resources.