Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Non-Fiction Picture Books Tell New Heroes' Stories

   Visit Alyson Beecher on Wednesdays for Non-Fiction Picture Books at Kidlit Frenzy -- hashtag #nfpb2020! Thanks to her hosting and sharing. From others, too, who add their posts, you can discover and celebrate terrific nonfiction picture books! 


             Usually, when I request and read a book by J. Patrick Lewis, it is filled with poetry. This time, the story itself is poetry, one true story of how an eight-year-old white kid from Sheboygan, Wisconsin, met the legendary Jackie Robinson in 1954—and how the two became lifelong friends. Ronnie Rabinovitz grew up loving baseball, but more than anything, he grew up loving the Brooklyn Dodgers and Jackie Robinson. 
               Ronnie's father wrote to Jackie telling of his son's obsession with Jackie, of his room filled with baseball souvenirs, especially about Jackie's accomplishments and challenges, about the Dodgers. In 1953, they were able to meet Jackie, go into the dugout, have a baseball signed by all the team. Thus the friendship began and continued throughout Jackie's life.
               Realistic paintings by John Thompson show these two who became lifelong friends as Lewis tells this extraordinary story. There is a poignant double-page spread of players wearing Jackie's number 42 on April 15th (today!) which is the day Jackie began his major-league career. 

               Lewis adds a timeline of Jackie's amazing records set in his career, like leading the National League in steals twice! A bibliography and one of the letters written to Ronnie are also added.
               It's an addition of a little-known story from Jackie Robinson's life, one that will encourage young readers who love baseball to write to their heroes. You never know what will happen until you do! I imagine this year with baseball on hold because of the pandemic that kids will love reading this even more! 


  1. I'll add this one to my list to find once we get back to life again! Looks like a good one for kids.

    1. I enjoyed it very much, Michele. And I love stories about Jackie Robinson. Thanks!


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