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A Ticket to the Pennant: A Tale of Baseball in Seattle - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

Perfect Picture Book Friday: A Ticket to the Pennant: A Tale of Baseball in Seattle

Do you remember when was there a Pacific Coast League? Or when - the Seattle Rainiers - battled the Los Angeles Angels for the leagues pennant? Journey back to 1955 with this mini time machine.

A Ticket to the Pennant: A Tale of Baseball in Seattle

Author: Mark Holtzen

Illustrator: John Skewes

Publisher: Sasquatch Books (2016)

Ages: 4-8



History, diversity, community, frustration, baseball

Synopsis (From Amazon):

Before the Seattle Mariners, there were the Seattle Rainiers who are playing for the pennant in this story that shows how baseball unites diverse communities. Tour the Seattle of 1955 with Huey as he and his neighborhood cheer for the Seattle Rainiers. If only Huey can find his missing ticket to the game! This nostalgic and historical picture book follows Huey through South Seattle as he retraces his steps through the charming neighborhood surrounding Sick’s Stadium to find his lost ticket--and follows him through the big game to victory. Neighbors from all different backgrounds listen to the game, announced by the beloved Leo Lassen, as Huey visits locally owned shops like the Italian bakery and the Japanese fish market. Featuring the vibrant retro illustrations by Larry Gets Lost series creator John Skewes, Ticket to the Pennant celebrates diversity and will be cherished by baseball fans young and old.

Opening Lines:

Huey had his glove, his lucky shirt, and his cap.

He was all ready for the game.

Now he just needed his Rainiers to win.

And he needed his ticket.

Why I like this book:

Being a long-term resident of the Seattle area, the streets and many of the landmarks are very familiar, including Borracchinis's bakery (which still exists). However the stadium in the story is long gone. The detailed illustrations capture the clothing, cars, buildings, streets, and community of 1955.

When Hueys beloved baseball team plays for the pennant, he is determined to watch. But he lost his ticket. Taking the reader along the streets and through the shops of 1955 South Seattle, Huey re-traces his steps. Only to discover the ticket in an unusual place. Huey finally gets to his seat during the bottom of the ninth inning.

The remaining four pages are a nail-biting conclusion to the game. And the announcer's commentary throughout makes for a fun story for both baseball fans and history buffs alike.

Related Activities:

- Compare the images with current life. What has changed and what hasn't?

- Play a game of catch or baseball

- Go to a game, or watch one on TV. Have the announcers changed? Do they sound the same? Has the game changed in the past 61 years? The food? The stands?

The book offers additional group discussion, group activities, and independent activities.

This post is part of a series by authors and KidLit bloggers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays. For more picture suggestions see Susannah Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.

Maria Marshall

 Photograph © A. Marshall

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