Casey at the Bat: A Ballad of the Republic Sung in the Year 1888 (Anglais) Cahier – 17 mars 1997
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Descriptions du produit
Présentation de l'éditeur
for the Mudville nine that day:
The score stood four to two
with but one inning more to play....
Since 1888 Casey at the Bat has been read and loved by baseball fans around the world. Now Mighty Casey has been brought to life by celebrated illustrator C. F. Payne, who captures the old-fashioned fun of an afternoon at the ballpark for a brand-new generation. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .
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This book is simply great fun to read aloud; you'll find yourself wanting to memorize its evocative imagery and epic aspirations:
"Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt; Five thousand tongue applauded when he wiped them on his shirt. Then while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip, Defiance flashed in Casey's eye, a sneer curled Casey's lip."
You and your youngsters will love the humor and the drama in this a classic rendition of Thayer's beloved poem. Infants and toddlers will enjoy the bright pictures, and all readers will appreciate the perfect teaming of Thayer and Polacco.
This particular edition and rendition of the poem Casey at the Bat, first published in 1888 by Ernest Lawrence Thayer, has been illustrated by KEN BACHAUS. It is probably one of the finest versions of this poem or ballad in print. Most reading this review are probably quite familiar with the story as told in the poem, so needless to say, it is about as an American of a poem as you can get. It is one of those that have been memorized by school children for several generations now. Movies and cartoons have been made of it and the poem has been published in uncountable anthologies, as well as stands a lone works.
What makes this work so unique is the art work by Ken Bachaus. The artist has captured the mood of the poem perfectly. Facial expressions of players are an absolute delight as is the body language and background settings. Vivid watercolor like paintings fit the words to the text perfectly. Bachaus' use of his brush to show motion is quite unique and perfectly executed. (this technique is actually quite difficult to pull off and the artist has mastered it). Details of uniforms, skin texture, equipment and, well, dirt, is rather amazing.
I cannot think of a better version of this beloved story to read to the young ones. Not only do they get the words of a wonderful, truly American poem, but they are exposed to some wonderful art work at the same time.
If you purchase this work, be sure you check it out closely as there seems to be a terrible mix up here. Note that Publishers Weekly has gotten it wrong (no surprise here), and School Library Journal is even further off. They don't even address the correct artist. And while I am at it; where on earth did they come up with "Aristotelean catharsis" on a review for a book like this? I sat through over a dozen classes in classical literature in college, and for the life of me never made the connection between Aristotle and Casey...Duh on me, I suppose. Anyway, I think it is suppose to be (Thank you for allowing me to rant)
The Baseball Almanac calls the piece "a baseball poem so well-written that it is simply classic poetry." But the poem is not just about baseball; it is part of baseball history. Ernest Thayer initially published the poem anonymously, because he considered it doggerel, a throwaway set of lines. But as time passed and it grew in popularity, more and more people claimed to have written it, and so he "came out" as the author, so to speak. The poem's subtitle, "A Ballad of the Republic Sung in the Year 1888," is rarely included with it, but indicates the mock seriousness of the work. Despite the technological changes of the past 120 years, the Mudville Nine's situation is sweetly familiar. Anyone attending a baseball game in a stadium today could identify with the hyped-up crowd in the poem. And as for gifted but arrogant players? Plenty of those still around.
The text is illustrated by Ken Bachus with sharp attention to the clothing and facial hair typical of the late 1880s. His ink drawings are detailed and accurate, from the players' uniforms and floppy baseball gloves to their drooping moustaches. Bachus indicates Casey's physical superiority in two ways: Casey hefts three bats in the on-deck circle rather than the usual two, and his moustache ends are longer than anyone else's. But he isn't perfect: his ears stick out, and he's beady-eyed.
In a liberal interpretation of the text, the illustrator shows Casey taking the first two pitches while leaning on his bat rather than holding the bat in ready position. This choice underscores Casey's arrogance: it's not just that he didn't swing; he couldn't swing. The last drawing is a treasure. Casey sits alone and bent over on a rough-hewn plank bench, his bat and the elusive ball at his side. His posture says "learned a hard lesson" better than any words could. This Casey will never again lean on his bat and watch a pitch go by.
A perfect read-aloud poem for pre-teens. The last lines should be read with a slow and exaggerated seriousness: "There is no joy in Mudville -- mighty Casey has struck out."
Do I really have to summarize it? The story's exactly as we've always known it. Heck, my own father has it memorized. "The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Mudville Nine that day". Mudville is down and unless Casey can get to bat everything shall truly be lost. Fortunately Flynn and Jimmy Blake manage to get on base and Casey's up. He's up and he's hot. Heck, he even misses the first two balls for the fun of it. Then the moment comes, everyone's ready, and Casey swings like he's never swung before. "But there is no joy in Mudville - Mighty Casey has struck out". The last shot is of a dejected Casey, brought to his knees, the stands around him abandoned.
In my travels around New York, the Bronx, and Brooklyn I've never stumbled across an inner city baseball game. But in the conteest of this story, it works and I'm sure that there are some somewhere. Now the illustrations themselves are not my style, but this isn't to say that they aren't well done. First of all, you have to respect an artist who paints outside in a gas mask because his materials are so very very toxic. THAT is dedication, ladies and gentlemen. The oil and acrylic used on the paper gives Joe Morse's black a blueish tinge. Figures are exaggerated for the sake of the narrative. The pages are even occasionally split into comic book panels to sometimes allow the story the feel of a graphic novel. How well the poem adapted to its new setting is sometimes shocking. When we read that, "From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar", we wonder how else it could be taken. Ditto the surreal moment when we learn that two other ballplayers, the much maligned Flynn and Jimmy Blake are, respectively, a hoodoo and a cake. The words "hoodoo" and "cake" are written in graffiti under their headshots, giving these once archaic terms a kind of contemporary cache.
Rarely have I ever read a children's book that praised its own illustrator so highly at the story's end, by the way. Here's a bit of it: "More's images paint a compelling portrait of human nature, particularly the psychology of the hero and the crowd. Indeed, this interpretation of `Casey' transforms Thayer's caricatures into flesh-and-blood people with real hopes and dreams - and real vulnerability". The book goes on to describe how in this particular version we see Casey "ultimately confined by the batting cage and the concrete boxes of his surroundings, deserted by even his most ardent fans". Couldn't have said it better myself (and it looks as if I don't have to). Suddenly this isn't a story about a guy so full of himself that he causes his own downfall. It's about a kid who's pride gets the better of him and who ends up bitter and alone without any recourse or escape at the end of his day. Cheery.
One of the libraries in which I worked had low shelves for easy child access. At this branch I would continually display Christopher Bing's illustrated version of the Thayer poem standing on top of the shelves in the hope that someone would give it a glance. I must have put that puppy out for maybe five or six months and not ONCE did it ever get checked out. Holding Joe Morse's new version, I feel confident that if I put his book out for people to look at, it would disappear instantaneously. It's even beautifully bound. A lot of the smaller presses are favoring simple bindings without covers these days. The Vision In Poetry series, to which this book belongs, also has a lovely format with silver piped words along the spine. Classy city.
So let's sum up. You want to get your kids interested in some classic poetry but you don't know how? Hello, answer to your prayers! I may not have mentioned this before, but not a single word in this book has been changed to suit its new station. It's the classic poem in its original form and done in such a way that it reads like it was made yesterday. Poetry has never been better packaged for the kiddies. This is a poem that has a lot going for it. Even if you're not a fan of the art or the format, you have to respect its energy. An amazing idea and an even better result.