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Sunday, November 6, 2016

BASEBALL Then to WOW! Sports Illustrated for Kids. 2016. $23.95 all ages

"At Fenway Park, for instance, the rightfield pole is just 302 feet from home plate, but the fence in deep centerfield is 420 feet away. Meanwhile, the leftfield wall is 310 feet away - and 37 feet tall!"

The CHICAGO CUBS won the World Series! 108 years! I cannot even imagine the joy felt by those fans who have cheered their team on for years. I saw an interview with a 108 year old woman who was born two months before the last win, and is still here to cheer them on this year! What an amazing story to tell!

So, while our attention has turned to other sports, we will not soon forget the 2016 series ... and know that it will only amp up excitement for books about the sport itself. If you have kids still wanting to check out your baseball books, have this one on hand. It is filled with more information than they will be able to assimilate in their first reading. It is sure to lure them back again and again.

From the pinstriped endpapers and the opening images of 'then' and 'now' baseballs through its 80 fact-filled pages, it gives readers amazing visuals on double page spreads in four sections: The Basics, The Players, Play Ball! and Fan-tastic! A timeline is used to help young fans see the progression in the rules of the game from 1845 through to 2014 ... and on it goes.

Every single turn of the page offers readers a different aspect of the game, and how things have changed through the years it has been played. The uniforms, gloves, catcher's masks for each decade of play are all mentioned. Stadiums are described, as are the improvements made when new ones are developed and opened.

There is so much for kids to love in this book - not the least of which is to see how nonfiction can be organized in a new and different way. They will see how information collected can be placed on timelines, in comparison charts, even right on the playing field. It is an incredibly diverse way of sharing so many facts. It does not have to be read from front to back - it can be read according to what first strikes a reader's fancy. Sports fans will go back again and again, always discovering more.

The archival photos, the statistics, the names (new and old), and the history make it a most valuable addition to any collection. And remember:

"Over  the years, baseball has become more and more about keeping spectators entertained and engaged. A candy bar with Babe Ruth's name on the wrapper? I'd buy that! Trading cards with pictures of the game's most beloved players? I want a pack! A free bat just for walking through the gate? Well, duh! Today's fans can have Cracker Jack and sushi while they sit in the stands and enjoy nine innings of fun."

Get a copy and take all the time in the world to enjoy it! Baseball won't be back until spring training.

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