Casey Back at Bat
by Dan Gutman; illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher
Oooh ... a twofer. It's Poetry Friday and Baseball Week here at Book Buds. I'm celebrating with a rhyming sequel to that song about the sport's most famous loser--you know him, the mighty Casey.
Though I just noticed that other song's about a Casey too! Wow, I'm having mystical moments about a sporting event. And I'm craving peanuts. Is it a sign?
In this version, Casey takes a whack at that ball, and it soars beyond the bleachers into the great beyond. Where it goes and what happens next makes for some out-of-this-world hyperbole, especially when the speedy orb finally makes it back to the ballpark.
The team of illustrators underlaid the pictures with newspapers from the period. As the ball spans the globe, the paper-theme repeats, only the prints change with the locale. A deft touch. Casey's a musclebound type straight out of an old-style comic book, and you gotta love the set to his jaw when he cracks that bat.
Awright, I'll shut up now. Here's what you stopped by for:
"That shot might go five hundred feet!" one bleacher creature reckoned.
"I showed 'em!" cackled Casey as he rounded first and second.
The Mudville fans began to cheer, a roar that started growing
as they watched the ball go o'er the wall,
and then...it kept on going!
It soared by hills and valleys, ever higher in the sky,
past houses, farms, and villages, so swiftly did it fly.
It crossed the great Atlantic, whre it almost struck a bird,
but Casey didn't have a clue, for he was roundin' third.
Hey is it the ex-copyeditor in me or could Gutman have made use of some semi-colons instead of all those full-stops? Just nitpicking.
Fun stuff for the baseball fan in your household. If you need a refresher on the original, here's a version that might, erm, score.
New: Buy it from Powells.