Saturday, May 7, 2011

Take Me Out to the Ball Game - review

Norworth, Jack. 2011. Take Me out to the Ball Game. Ill. by Smiko Hirao.  Performed by Carly Simon. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.

In 1908, Jack Norworth wrote the lyrics to "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." In 1994, Carly Simon recorded the song for Ken Burns' epic documentary, Baseball. In 2011, Amiko Hirao created brightly colored, anthropomorphic characters to accompany the story,  Giraffes, elephants, flamingos, dogs and cats, gathering together for a day at the ball park.

Put them all together and you've got a delightful baseball story, sung by the renowned artist, Carly Simon.  A longer version than the "seventh inning stretch song," this collaboration begins with Katie Casey,
Katie Casey was baseball mad. 
She had the fever and she had it bad.
Just to root for the hometown crew,
every cent, that Katie spent.
When Katie's beau invites her to a show, she says,
"No, I'll tell you what you can do,"
He takes her out to the ball game, of course, and well, you know the rest.

This is a large book (11x12) with double-spread, action-packed illustrations throughout. The lyrics are classic, and Carly Simon's voice is clear and warm - singing slowly enough so that kids can follow the story as the pages are turned, but with all the enthusiasm of the ball game.

A fun book for little baseball fans!

Have a listen ...

Take Me Out To The Ballgame by Carly Simon - Official

The accompanying CD also contains two completely unrelated songs, "Scarborough Fair" and "I Gave my Love a Cherry,"  two old classics that I remember singing as a child. An odd pairing, but it might work well used as a bedtime story followed by two lullabies.

An added Performer's Note reveals the interesting fact that Jackie Robinson and his family lived with Carly Simon's family in 1954 and 1955 while the Robinson's home was under construction in the neighborhood.

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