Thursday, September 10, 2015

Just as Good

Just as Good

Picture book
Most of our homes are awash in electronic devices. Many of us
probably can't imagine life any other way. Chris Crowe's Just as
Good: How Larry Dooby Changed America's Game takes readers and
listeners back to a post World War II America where even a radio in
the home is a luxury, professional baseball events are major events,
and people without radios congregate in places like drugstores to hear
the play by play and root for the favored team. It's also sadly a
time when a baseball loving boy can be banned from Little League and
told, "Look around, Homer...You see any Negroes playing in the major
Homer, Crowe's protagonist, is, however, hopeful. Eleven weeks
after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier Larry Doby has signed
with his beloved Cleveland Indians to become the American League's
first black player. On an early autumn day in 1948 he bikes home from
his newspaper route to see that his father is installing a new radio
just in time for the World Series.
"Daddy starts turning that dial like a safecracker:
Crackly music.
Big-band music.
Then I hear, 'Good afternoon, baseball fans everywhere,' and my
heart thumps."
Mike Benny's illustrations perfectly capture the ambiance of the
era and the emotions of the narrative. As Homer bikes home (you can
tell as quickly as possible) two nattily dressed men (seeing his cap)
call out, 'How 'bout those Indians!' When the Indians win the World
Series Homer jumps up and down on a chair while his parents dance in
the kitchen.
Just as Good is the perfect book to introduce sports loving
children to the prejudices that existed in America's pastime (and
America itself) in the not so distant past,
Julia Emily Hathaway

Sent from my iPod

No comments:

Post a Comment