You never heard of Casey Stengel?!

Jonah Winter, 1962-

Book - 2016

Looks at the life and career of Casey Stengel, from his days as a player on the Brooklyn Dodgers to his string of pennants and World Series wins as manager of the New York Yankees.

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Location Call Number   Status
Children's Room jE/Winter Checked In
Picture books
New York : Schwartz & Wade Books [2016]
First edition
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Main Author
Jonah Winter, 1962- (-)
Other Authors
Barry Blitt (illustrator)
Review by Booklist Review

*Starred Review* The second companion book to Winter's You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?! (2009) is as smart and quirky as Casey Stengel himself. Though he had some notable moments in his playing career, such as hitting the first home run in Ebbets Field (1913) and the first World Series homer in Yankee Stadium (1923), Stengel was better known for what Winter calls his goofballery. After he stopped playing, he managed a series of losing teams before he was hired to manage the Yankees. Despite a continuing reputation for foolery, Stengel used his wits, experience, and canny skills to lead the team during an amazing string of winning seasons: 10 pennants and 7 World Series championships in 12 years. Reading Winter's amusing and informative text is like listening to your favorite grandfather talk about baseball's glory days, assuming that Grandpa has a phenomenal memory, a dry sense of humor, and the storytelling skills of Scheherazade. The expressive ink-and-watercolor illustrations make good use of Blitt's talent for caricature and his vivid, visual imagination (picture a hand with a World Series ring on the thumb and each of the six fingers). From the portraits on the endpapers to the Stengelese quips in the text, here's a first-rate picture book for baseball fans.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2015 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission. Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Winter uses the same playfully irreverent narration he brought to his books about Sandy Koufax and Willie Mays to this highly entertaining introduction to Charles Dillon Stengel. Signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1912, the "left-handed, bowlegged, wisecracking character" wasn't initially taken seriously due to his pranks-like having a pilot fly over the field and drop grapefruits on his manager. Stengel went on to manage several lackluster teams, but after a (very) unexpected chance to manage the Yankees ("Reporters drop their pens. Furniture falls from the sky"), his unconventional tactics proved innovative. Blitt infuses his artwork with physical humor, and as readers follow Stengel through his highs, lows, and head-scratching in-betweens (like forgetting to put on pants before taking the field), they'll agree that "They just don't make 'em like Casey Stengel anymore." Ages 4-8. Author's agent: Ginger Knowlton, Curtis Brown. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved Review by School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-4-The "You Never Heard of..." picture books are back with this interesting look at a baseball personality known more for his managerial style than for his years as a player. In a relaxed, conversational tone, Winter ushers readers through the life of Casey Stengel, whose childhood dream was to be a baseball player (except for "that one time when he wanted to be a dentist"). Stengel wasn't the best player in the league, but what he lacked in talent, he made up for in goofball antics. Readers will surely snicker at his many exploits, both as a player and later as a manager. They'll also see how, despite his wackiness, his persistence got him the gig of a lifetime: managing the New York Yankees. The pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations perfectly complement the nostalgic glimpse back at the glory days of baseball. Blitt plays with proportions in a classic caricature style that exaggerates the silliness of some stand-out scenes. Interspersed throughout are text boxes with facts and stats. This engaging title will have kids sprinting toward sports biographies to learn more about the many legendary players Stengel played ball with or managed. VERDICT A first-rate first purchase.-Abby Bussen, Muskego Public Library, WI © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. Review by Horn Book Review

Winters latest baseball book (You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?!, rev. 3/09; You Never Heard of Willie Mays?!, rev. 1/13) hits the shelves just in time for spring training. The subject -- kooky manager Stengel -- was a mediocre player in his day, better known for his antics than his ability (although as a New York Giant he did best a guy by the name of Babe Ruth in the 1923 World Series). But as a manager no one has matched Stengels five consecutive World Series victories -- and seven total championships between 19491960 -- with the great Yankees teams of the era. Winter uses an old-timers storytelling style; reading this is like listening to Bronx barflies comparing memories. He sagely plays up Stengels wackiness. For instance, in one of several (ticket stubshaped) sidebars, he highlights Caseys "Stengelese" (e.g., "The team has come along slow but fast"). Blitts pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations range from the suitably silly (an assortment of Caseys crazy exploits) to the poignant (Casey doffing his cap as he walks off the field and into the sunset), using caricature and perspective to reflect Stengels larger-than-life persona. An authors note is appended, along with a "Glossary of Baseball Terms" and a brief note "About the Statistics in This Book." A lack of sources and further reading is the only weak spot in this affectionate tribute to one of baseballs true originals. sam bloom (c) Copyright 2016. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. Review by Kirkus Book Review

Casey Stengel was a baseball phenomenon and a genuine eccentric. He was a goodthough not greatplayer, known for his goofy antics, such as hiding a sparrow in his cap and, when fans booed him, tipping his cap to release the bird. At the end of his playing career, he became a manager for a series of terrible minor and major league teams. Then came the New York Yankees, with their full roster of great players. He managed them to 10 pennants and seven World Series championships. All those years prior, he had been studying the game carefully and remembering everything. His innovative style of platooning lefties and righties, switching around his lineup, placing players at multiple positions, and keeping everyone guessing won games and became the template for the modern game. He also had a way of speaking that confounded all listeners, using "Stengelese" to great advantage. Winter speaks directly to readers in a colloquial, folksy voice, presenting the salient facts but focusing on Stengel's larger-than-life persona. Additional bits of information appear in sidebars designed like tickets. Blitt's softly colored pen, ink, and watercolor illustrations, in a variety of perspectives, perfectly convey Stengel's baseball world, and the portraits of Stengel are amazingly accurate and lifelike. A charming, endearing introduction to a baseball icon. (Picture book/biography. 6-10) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.