Baseballogy: Supercool Facts You Never Knew

illus. by Kevin Sylvester. 72p. chart. index. Annick. 2015. Tr $24.95. ISBN 9781554517084; pap. $14.95. ISBN 9781554517077.
Gr 3–6—Cartoon illustrations and well-chosen facts enliven this slim collection of kid-friendly trivia. There are sections on equipment, stadiums, pitching, and hitting, along with interesting historical facts and records. The book highlights Babe Ruth's home run record, along with the detail that "he once missed a bunch of games because of indigestion. He'd eaten a dozen hot dogs and guzzled eight sodas between games." Baseball's rise in global popularity is described; currently, there are 103 players from the Dominican Republic on U.S. teams. Sylvester visually depicts the odds of making it to baseball's major leagues through a bustling double-page illustration of ballplayers—boys and girls—throwing, catching, and hitting baseballs, paired with text that notes that 11 million kids play baseball in North America but that only about 800 will make it to the major leagues. Sylvester also discusses how the cost of new stadiums and player salaries is passed along to the fans in the form of higher ticket prices, relying on a double-page illustration of a fan in 1950 and a modern-day devotee, each loaded down with snacks with labeled prices (a hot dog that once cost 30 cents, for instance, now goes for six dollars). A trivia quiz, with answers, rounds out this book.
VERDICT Baseball fans will welcome this relevant, well-done title, and the whimsical graphics will broaden the audience.

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