Title: BETSY'S DAY at the GAME
Author: Greg Bancroft
Illustrator: Katherine Blackmore
Publisher: Scarletta Kids, 2013
Intended Age: 6-10
Themes: Baseball, Grandparents
Opening Line: "Elisabeth, Grandpa's here," Betsy's mom called out."
Synopsis: Betsy goes to the ballpark with her grandfather and shows him her score-keeping skills.
What I like about this book: During my senior year in high school I was scorekeeper for the boy's varsity baseball team, so right away I liked the idea of a story with a female scorekeeper for a male sport. And I enjoyed the way the story weaves the idea of family tradition in with baseball. Betsy even gets to show off her own fielding skills with a foul ball into the stands. Unlike faster paced sports, baseball is easy for younger family members to understand, perfect for inter-generational sharing. Note: the book is text dense, almost a chapter book in picture book clothing, thus the intended age group. Some pages don't have illustrations. Score-keeping is explained in the story and the last four pages repeat the explanations and include blank scoring pages.
- Most obvious? Score a game! There are plenty of games on television, so you don't have the expense of tickets or the risk of short attention spans for kids who don't connect with the activity. You can photocopy the scorecards from the book or get them here from the publisher.
- Talk about why people fill out scorecards in baseball. Do the individual statistics matter? To whom? Does it make watching a game more or less fun? Visit the MLB statistics page.
- A ten-page curriculum guide (baseball shapes, ideas and more!) is available on the publisher's page.
- Watch the classic "Who's on First" comedy sketch by Abbott and Costello on Youtube.
- Compare this book to other picture books about baseball. Goodreads has a list here, but it isn't a comprehensive one--one of my favorites is David A. Kelly's MAGIC MUD (illustrated by Oliver Dominguez, Millbrook Press, 2013). Ask your readers to list them from favorite to least favorite and talk about what they liked and didn't like.
- Attend a baseball game. Little league, major league or anything in between. How does your visit compare with Betsy's?
Thanks for stopping by! :)