Friday, April 6, 2012
Brothers at Bat by Audrey Vernick
by Audrey Vernick
illustrated by Steven Salerno
Clarion Books, 2012
The reviewer received a copy of the book from the publisher.
The Nonfiction Detectives and Kid Lit Frenzy are encouraging everyone to read more nonfiction picture books with our 2012 Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge.
Brothers at Bat, a new nonfiction picture book, has been released just in time for opening day. Young readers and baseball fans will be intrigued by the true story of twelve brothers from New Jersey who were avid baseball players. The Acerras played together on baseball teams in their neighborhood, in high school, and on a semi-professional team. Spanning from the 1920s to the 1950s, they were the longest playing all-brothers baseball team.
Salerno's playful gouache and pastel illustrations bring a feeling of nostalgia to the story. The warm yellow, green and blue illustrations of the Acerras playing ball change to dark gray and deep green when some of the brothers are sent to war. The Acerras played their last game together in 1952. They were later honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Vernick shares in an author's note that the book is based on interviews with Freddy and Eddie Acerra along with research she conducted at the Baseball Hall of Fame. Brothers at Bat would make a wonderful read aloud to celebrate families and America's pastime. Pair this book with There Goes Ted Williams by Matt Tavares or The Unforgettable Season by Phil Bildner.