The Bambino and Me, by Zachary Hyman | Book Review
By Zachary Hyman; Illustrated by Zachary Pullen; Read by Jason Alexander
Hardcover with Audio CD: 48 pages
Age Range: 4-8
Publisher: Tundra Books, April 2014
What to expect: Baseball, Babe Ruth, New York Yankees, Nostalgia, Inspiration
In The Bambino and Me, author Zachary Hyman tells the story of 10 year old baseball fanatic George Henry Alexander and his memorable summer of 1927. Though George mostly strikes out when he plays neighborhood baseball, he just loves baseball too much to give up. He lives in the Bronx and naturally, the Yankees are his favorite team, and “Babe” Ruth is his favorite player. George carries around the Babe’s baseball card and has dreamed for years of meeting him. Finally, on his birthday, he receives two tickets to watch the Yankees play the rival Red Sox. His revelry is cut short when he opens up another gift, a Red Sox jersey from well-meaning Uncle Alvin in Boston—George would rather kiss a girl. At his parent’s insistence, George reluctantly wears the jersey to the game and as expected, he gets harassed. His courage is rewarded in the end when he receives some inspiring words from the great Bambino himself.
Baseball is a heart strong sport, with a magnitude of allegiance amongst fans for their favorite teams, players, and for the game itself. Young author Zachary Hyman impressively captures these emotions perfectly in 10-year-old George through his zest for baseball, detest for the Red Sox, and idolization of Babe Ruth. The intensity of emotions is also captured brilliantly by illustrator Zachary Pullen, with oversized oil masterpieces that provide a unique depth and perspective. The turn of each page reveals larger than life expressive characters that complement the story while drumming up nostalgia for the era and sympathy for a boy with a dream. This edition of The Bambino and Me also includes a CD of the story narrated by Seinfeld’s George Alexander, who brings his own clever flare and characterization.
Though this story is fiction, it contains accurate references about Babe Ruth and his record breaking 1927 season. Several of Babe Ruth’s most famous inspirational quotes, encouraging the young and old to keep swinging until you hit a home run, are also included for readers to reflect upon. The inspiration, passion, and illustrations make The Bambino and Me a wonderful, well rounded, addition to any reader’s roster.
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About The Author
Zachary Hyman is one of North America’s top young hockey prospects and was drafted by the Florida Panthers in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. In 2011, Hockey Canada named Zachary Hyman the Canadian Junior A Player of the Year and his sweater hung in the Hockey Hall of Fame. His love of baseball and his passion for history inspired Zachary to pen The Bambino and Me. Hyman studies and plays hockey at the University of Michigan, where in 2012 he received the Freshman Academic Achievement Award.
About the Illustrator
Zachary Pullen’s character-oriented illustrations have been seen in numerous publications including The New York Times Book Review, Sports Illustrated, Esquire, and The Wall Street Journal to name a few. He has been honored several times through the prestigious Society of Illustrators juried shows and Communication Arts Illustration Annual of the best in current illustration. Pullen lives with his wife and son in Wyoming. To see more of his work, please visit www.zacharypullen.com.
The Bambino and Me, by Zachary Hyman, was reviewed by Gi Hallmark. Follow along with our Baseball Books tag for more books perfect for sports fans.