cover image Mickey Mantle: The Commerce Comet

Mickey Mantle: The Commerce Comet

Jonah Winter, illus. by C.F. Payne. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-101-93352-7

In an engagingly conversational narrative laced with baseball lingo, Winter (You Never Heard of Casey Stengel?!) vividly traces Mickey Mantle’s trajectory from a small child with a bone disease to one of America’s most beloved baseball players. But even with success, he struggled. Winter explains how Mantle, after becoming a Yankee, famously damaged his knee on the field during the World Series (“the moment that would change his life”) but went on to amass numerous records, “though every swing of the bat caused excruciating pain.” Payne’s (Miss Mary Reporting) handsome pencil-and-acrylic artwork blends 1950s naturalism with touches of caricature, while Winter keeps his focus on the man behind the records: “[Fans] knew Mickey wasn’t perfect. But they also knew that to watch a guy do what he did, with that body, could take your breath away.” Ages 4–8. (Feb.)