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Joltin' Joe DiMaggio by Jonah Winter

Joltin' Joe DiMaggio

by Jonah Winter

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The son of Italian immigrants gets signed to the New York Yankees at age 19 and becomes one of the greatest baseball players of all time. Good introductory biography with great watercolor illustrations by James Ransome. ( )
  Sullywriter | May 22, 2015 |
This book is about Joe DiMaggio and how he loved baseball as a boy and grew up to be a famous Yankee. It talks about the tough times he endured with his family and in the game and it tells of his accomplishments and hard work. The main idea of this biography is that "with hard work and determination, dreams can come true". I liked this book for several reasons. First, I liked how the story of Joe DiMaggio was told in a narrative way that was interesting and on a child's level, instead of purely informational. For example, when the author introduces Joe, he writes, "Read all about it! A newsboy shouted from a hill in San Francisco. "Yanks win the pennant!" The newsboy was a scrawny kid trying to make a couple of bucks, His name: Joe DiMaggio. Another reason I liked this book were the detailed, large illustrations. They helped the reader to picture what was going on in the text more accurately. This is important for young readers since they may not understand some things, such as what a newsboy was or looked like. The picture accompanying the text allows the reader to visualize Joe DiMaggio in the 1920's as a newsboy. ( )
  KristyPratt | Apr 21, 2015 |
Richie’s Picks: JOLTIN’ JOE DIMAGGIO by Jonah Winter and James E. Ransome, ill., Atheneum, September 2014, 48p., ISBN: 978-1-4169-4080-7

“Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio
Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.
What’s that you say, Mrs. Robinson,
Joltin’ Joe has left and gone away.”
-- Simon and Garfunkel (1968)

“Like most American boys, Joe mainly cared about one thing: baseball. Joe and his pals played baseball every day in the playground lot just up the hill from Fisherman’s Wharf.
“Joe’s dad was a fisherman from Italy, and he mainly cared about one thing too: fish. He expected all his sons to become fishermen just like him. But Joe hated boats, hated the smell of fish, and hated how hard his father worked for so little money. Joe would not become a fisherman, and that was that.”

Joe DiMaggio’s major league career ended years before I was born. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame when I was a baby in 1955. And yet, nearly sixty years later, when I asked the softball-playing thirteen-year-old girl down the block if she’d ever heard of Joe DiMaggio, she immediately responded that he’d been a baseball player and had been married to Marilyn Monroe.

Giuseppe Paolo (Joe) DiMaggio Jr. made quite a name for himself. At nineteen years old he was signed by the New York Yankees to replace the just-retired Babe Ruth. As a rookie, they paid him the Great Depression-era princely sum of $25,000. Now DiMaggio’s father didn’t mind that his son was not a fisherman.

Over his thirteen years with the Yankees he proved himself to be worth every penny. After 74 years, DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak remains the Major League record. The closest someone has come since then was the since-disgraced Pete Rose, who had a 44-game streak.

We learn all this and more from JOLTIN’ JOE DIMAGGIO.

James E. Ransome hits it out of the park with his watercolor illustrations. On his website, Ransome explains that studying filmmaking taught him “how to pace a story with the aid of camera angles and framing images.” He uses this background to great effect as he depicts DiMaggio with his boyhood family, on the train with his teammates, and in action on the field. He also provides vivid images of a long-ago America.

In an author’s note, Jonah Winter further details the Yankee Clipper’s historic significance both on and off the field.

JOLTIN’ JOE DIMAGGIO makes it clear why my young neighbor knows about this long-ago American sports hero.

Richie Partington, MLIS
Richie's Picks http://richiespicks.pbworks.com
Moderator http://groups.yahoo.com/group/middle_school_lit/
http://slisweb.sjsu.edu/people/faculty/partingtonr/partingtonr.php ( )
  richiespicks | Sep 2, 2014 |
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"The baseball legend, Joe DiMaggio's picture book biography"--

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