Many consider Willie Mays to be one of the greatest baseball players of all time, and some even call him the best that ever lived. With 660 home runs, he’s second only to Babe Ruth on The Sporting News’s list of 100 greatest baseball players. This biography tells the story of Willie Mays’ legendary career from his youth, through his journey into the Negro Leagues and then to the Majors, and onto the infamous “catch” in 1954 that further solidified his place in baseball history.
What better way to celebrate America’s pastime than with a book about one of its legends? This is a fantastic picture book that older and younger generations of baseball fans can and should read together. Mays was a true sports hero and role model for kids of his time, unlike so many pro athletes today that find themselves in trouble for one thing or another. In addition to stunning illustrations, the book includes fun stats and a really cool lenticular cover that’s mesmerizing.
The publisher recommends this book for kids as young as four, but the story might be a bit long to hold a pre-kindergarten child’s attention for one sitting. Also, kids that young may not be able to relate to the impact that Mays’ accomplishments had on sports and society of that time. School-age children may be better able to grasp the significance of Mays’ achievements as an athlete and African-American.
Because of the size and cool cover, it’s on the high side for a hardcover at $17.99. But, it’s still much less than a meal at one of the major league ballparks, and that’s a home run in my book!
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