Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

The Bambino and Me

Hyman, Zachary (Author)
Pullen, Zachary (Illustrator)
Tundra Books 2014. 48 pages + 1 CD
First published: 2014
ISBN: 9781770496279 (hardcover)
9781770496286 (paperback)
9781770496293 (e-book)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, characterization, point of view, setting

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

It is the summer of 1927, and 10-year-old George spends his days playing baseball. On his birthday, the impossible comes true – George’s parents get him tickets to see a New York Yankees game and his hero, Babe Ruth, in action. But there is another, less welcome present from Uncle Alvin in Boston: a Red Sox jersey and cap. His mother, unthinkably, insists he wear it to the game. Humiliated, George soon discovers that standing out from the crowd is not all bad. He gets to meet his hero and learns a lesson about perseverance.

Told in George’s voice, the captivating language is rich with the vernacular of the time: he thrills “to the whoosh of every pitch, the crack of every bat and the thump of every foot on the bases.” His painful walk through the neighbourhood, where his red-and-grey jersey horrifies his friends, captures the children and the era in pitch-perfect dialogue.

Large oil illustrations portray characters with oversized heads and exaggerated features in a nostalgic antique palette. The facial expressions in the close-up portraits bring the humorous and lively text into vivid focus.

In this compelling tale of a boy and his dream, the protagonist learns from his hero that, “It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.” A lovely CD recording of the text by Jason Alexander is included.

  •  Locate the year 1927 on a timeline of the 20th century. Brainstorm major historical events and inventions in relation to when the story is set.
  •  

    Brainstorm contemporary sports heroes. Make connections between how George idolized Babe Ruth and how contemporary sports figures are treated. How might it be the same or different being a famous athlete in 1927 versus now?

  •  

    Make connections between the Babe Ruth quotes in the text and the big ideas in the story. Organize your thinking in a graphic organizer. Discuss your ideas with a partner or group.

  •  

    Think about how you would feel if you received a sports jersey from an opposing team. Discuss your feelings and reactions.

  •  

    In small groups, create a story map of the book. Include character interactions, main ideas, feelings and settings.

  •  

    Compare this story with The Hockey Sweater. How are the two stories similar and different?

  •  

    Discuss Babe’s magic words: “It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.” Do they apply to any other contexts?

  •  

    What do you know about baseball? About Babe Ruth? Name some famous baseball teams and players. 

  •  

    Listen to the story on the CD. Pause occasionally to summarize (with a partner) what you have heard thus far.

  •  

    Imagine you are a sports announcer at the baseball game in the story. Prepare and record an on-the-spot commentary for baseball fans.

  • To construct his/her identity
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • To use information
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Personal and Career Planning
  • Physical Education and Health