cover image This Is the Game

This Is the Game

Diane Z. Shore and Jessica Alexander, illus. by Owen Smith, Harper, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-055522-1

Paired with the same kind of "House That Jack Built"–style couplets seen in Shore and Alexander's This Is the Dream, Smith's dramatically lit paintings honor baseball's enduring legacy. The title phrase inaugurates lyrical verse about the sport's origins ("This is the pastime, a new kind of game/ called ‘rounders,' then ‘town ball,' until it became/ ‘base ball") and about famed players like Babe Ruth ("This is ‘the Babe,' ‘the Sultan of Swat' "). Grounded in an era that preceded domes and stadium lights, this is a book that's likely to inspire requests for repeat readings from starry-eyed baseball lovers who live for the smell of a glove on a cloudless day. Ages 3–8. (Mar.)