Friday, March 27, 2009

You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?!

Baseball pitchers are special. The good ones are treated like gods. They do not play every day, and yet, fans can’t wait to see them do their “stuff.” Sandy Koufax played for the Dodgers: first, in Brooklyn and then in L.A. Jonah Winter, with illustrator Andre Carrilho has done a superb job of explaining the qualities of Koufax: athlete, graceful, strong, and determined in the new picture book biography, You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?! The cover seems to move, as if you are watching Koufax pitch. It is explained as a lenticular cover. It has three images, digitally sliced into strips and printed on a plastic sheet creating the illusion of movement as you turn the cover. Brilliant! The rest of the illustrations are graphite on paper, with color and texture added using Adobe Photoshop. The stylized drawings do look like Koufax, and I love the little statistic boxes throughout the book. It helps to understand Koufax’s place in baseball history to compare him to other pitchers. Every child knows that baseball is more than just hitting the ball, catching the ball or throwing the ball. It is also how well you do those things, in other words, the statistics. Check this out before opening day!

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