|Mickey Mantle : the Commerce Comet|
Author: Winter, Jonah
A picture-book biography that traces Micky Mantle's unparalleled baseball career.
|Illustrator:||Payne, C. F.|
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 4.70
Points: .5 Quiz: 187653
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 4.30
Points: 2.0 Quiz: 35571
School Library Journal (+) (12/01/16)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/02/17)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 12/01/2016 Gr 2–5—The cover image of a steely-eyed Mickey Mantle, bat aloft over his shoulder, sets the stage for an intimate look at the Hall of Famer. Mantle (1931–95) shattered records but struggled throughout his life to live up to expectations. ("Where Mickey came from, you had to be strong—tough, too.") Mantle battled childhood injuries and illness, but his father was determined to train him to be a ballplayer. In his teens, Mantle "shot up like Jack's beanstalk" and signed with the Yankees the day he graduated from high school. After a stint in the minors, he arrived in New York along with news of his speed and hitting prowess. He was slated to replace the great Joe DiMaggio ("The torch was being passed. [GULP] Greatness would be expected."). Winter relates the ups and downs of Mantle's career with zest: "Oh, if only, if only, Mickey could have stayed the way he was on that day, forever young, forever healthy, forever limitless in what he could do." Instead, there were slumps and injuries, including the horrific knee injury in the second game of the 1951 World Series. Mantle battled back: "What Mantle had was EMOTION, a FIRE inside that caused him to CRUSH the ball." Payne's mixed-media illustrations convey emotions and character. In one spread, DiMaggio and Mantle pose for photographers: well-mannered DiMaggio a half-step behind Mantle, who smiles shyly, eyes distant. Payne varies perspective to great effect: an image of Mantle's famous "tape-measure home run" zeroes in on the ball at the apex of its flight, with the ballpark far in the distance. VERDICT Highly recommended for school and public libraries, this nuanced look at one of baseball's iconic players has lessons for fans young and old.—Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 11/15/2016 Winter, the author of picture-book biographies such as Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio (2014) and You Never Heard of Casey Stengel?! (2016), adds another to his roster of books introducing legendary baseball players. Though Mantle’s father taught him switch-hitting and groomed him to become a professional ballplayer, the boy was sickly and small for his age until, in his teens, he grew up fast and earned a reputation as a slugger. At 19, he became an outfielder for the Yankees. Though a leg injury slowed his speed a bit and left him in pain during every game, Mantle became an outstanding hitter. He still holds records for the “most home runs, RBIs, extra base hits, runs, walks, and total bases in World Series history.” The narrator’s voice has a certain folksy charm that works well, given Mantle’s background as a miner’s son from a small community in Oklahoma. Payne’s artwork, created with acrylic and pencil, transports readers to that setting as well as several ballparks, while portraying characters with energy and personality. A worthwhile addition to sports collections. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.