I like poetry. I like books. I like poetry books. And I love Stars in the Shadows by Charles R. Smith, Jr (illustrated by Frank Morrison) and I’ve Lost My Hippopotamus by Jack Prelutsky (illustrated by Jackie Urbanovic).
One takes poetry and helps make a historical event (a very special baseball game) accessible to all types of readers; the other makes poetry fun and a delight to reread and read aloud!
“Welcome to Chicago, welcome all. It’s a beautiful day to play baseball.” August 26. 1934 is the day the second Negro League All-Star Baseball game was played. And Smith makes that day comes alive in Stars in the Shadows. You’ll probably recognize a few names (Satchel Paige) and wonder how others got theirs (Turkey Stearns). But as Lester Roberts (announcer for Radio Station WNLB) gives you the “play-by-play in a creative way” (prose as rhyming poetry) you are transported to a very familiar thing: a baseball game. But not any game. A game that explores the historical significance of players as good as any white player (perhaps better in many cases) but not considered equal due to skin color. Smith mixes the announcement of the game, commercials and fan comments to weave together a book that will have you yelling, “Play Ball!” (READ MORE)