cover image Poem Runs: Baseball Poems and Paintings

Poem Runs: Baseball Poems and Paintings

Douglas Florian. Harcourt, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-547-68838-1

Florian gives readers a tour of the baseball diamond, focusing mostly on the various positions on the field, in upbeat poems that exude a bravado and competitive spirit that’s perfect for the subject matter. The poems accompany naïf, chalklike mixed-media artwork that uses watercolors, pastels, and (appropriately enough) pine tar on a canvas of paper bags; Florian exaggerates the players’ physicality, as they bend, leap, and swing, their limbs stretching across the spreads. Cockiness and comedy intertwine throughout: “Our slugger can zing/ Each pitch you may hurl./ And one other thing:/ Our slugger’s a girl,” Florian writes, as the batter bares her teeth and gets ready to swing at the ball, which is shown in tatters on the following spread (“Crash it/. Mash it./ Hit it./ Spit it./ Been there./ Did it”). Much like her hit, this one’s a blast. Ages 6–9. (Apr.)