You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?!

You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?!

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In this striking picture book biography, an old-timer tells us what made Sandy Koufax such an amazing baseball player. We learn that the beginning of his career with the Brooklyn Dodgers was rocky, that he was shy with his teammates, and experienced discrimination as one of the only Jews in the game. We hear that he actually quit, only to return the next season—different—firing one rocket after another over the plate. We watch him refuse to play in the 1965 World Series because it is a Jewish high holy day. And we see him in pain because of an overused left arm, eventually retiring at the peak of his career. Finally, we are told that people are still “scratchin’ their heads over Sandy,” who remains a modest hero and a mystery to this day.

Accompanied by sidebars filled with statistics, this Parents Magazine Best Book of the Year and Booklist Top of the List is sure to delight budding baseball fans.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375937385
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 02/24/2009
Pages: 40
Product dimensions: 9.10(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 4 - 9 Years

About the Author

Jonah Winter is the author of many award-winning books about baseball figures, including Roberto Clemente: Pride of the Pittsburgh Pirates; You Never Heard of Willie Mays?!; and You Never Heard of Casey Stengel?! His other stellar titles include Here Comes the Garbage Barge!, a New York Times Best Illustrated Book; Frida, a Parents’ Choice Gold Medal winner; and Dizzy, the recipient of Best Book of the Year citations from Booklist, School Library Journal, The Horn Book, The Bulletin, and Kirkus Reviews.

André Carrilho is the illustrator of Porch Lies by Patricia McKissack, which received three starred reviews. This is his first picture book. He lives in Lisbon, Portugal.

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You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?! 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
MelAKnee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jewish baseball player, Sandy Koufax amazed fans of baseball by being an awesome left handed pitcher. He still holds the title of most strikeouts by a left handed pitcher in American baseball. Sandy only played for five years for the Los Angles Dodgers.
sharty on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The holographic cover of Dodgers pitcher Sandy Koulfax immediately draws in children whether or not they are interested in sports. Sports, however, is a topic of great interest, especially for boys, and the structure of this book is likely to keep them reading. It has small charts of statistics and baseball card images woven in with sharp red, blue, black, white, and gold illustrations that depict the unusual career of Koulfax. The story is one of overcoming physical limitations and religious discrimination.
debnance on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved this book and couldn¿t wait to share it with the children at my school. As I¿d expected, they loved the cover. They also loved the way the illustrator used gold on the pictures. The story was a little too hard for them. They were confused with the author¿s use of first person plural. They did not get the way the author used the vernacular voice to tell the story. They needed more background information about Koufax.But they loved that it was about a baseball player. They liked the voice of the author and thought it was fun. When it came down to voting, the room was clearly divided: Children who loved baseball rated it a 5 and those who did not like baseball rated the book a 1.It is a book with wonderful facts about a fascinating man. I would suspect that ten and eleven year olds would enjoy the book a bit more than my young students, but I bet that a lot of the cleverness and fun of the book would elude even them. Maybe we need to create a new category of books: Picture Books for Grownups. I loved this book and would definitely recommend it to parents or teachers to read with their kids who love baseball. Not sure many children would really hang in there with the book on his own. Not even a big baseball fan. Not even a big baseball fan living in NY. A Sample: `One day one of our scouts, Al Campanis, invites Sandy to Ebbets Field---home of our team, the Brooklyn Dodgers---so¿s he can see the hotshot pitch. After battin¿ just one time against him, Campanis has seen enough. He says to Sandy, ¿Kid, how¿d you like to play for us. Don¿t think too hard.¿ Quick as you can say ¿Jackie Robinson,¿ this nineteen-year-old squirt was wearin¿ Dodgers blue and earnin¿ more dough than some of us old-timers.¿Children¿s Comments: You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?!Elyssa, 6, said, "I liked how the words were written."Chloe, 6, said, "I liked how he did the glove."Sylvia, 5, said, "I liked the front cover.Jase, 5, said, "I liked the pictures."Children¿s Ratings: 5, 1, 5, 5, 5, 5, 1, 5, 1
lporsia on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Winning the 2010 Sydney Taylor Book Award for Younger Readers, You Never Heard Of Sandy Koufax?! is an eye opening account of a young Jewish baseball player for the Dodgers. Written by Jonah Winter, the story is told from the viewpoint of a teammate allowing the audience the experience of a first hand report while feeling connected to the players. Approaching the reader with the assumption that they are unfamiliar with Sandy Koufax the pitcher, the author boasts about his amazing career while only hinting that his Jewish heritage or short-lived career may have been the reasons he was not a household name. Discussing the pressure of becoming a major league player, Koufax¿ struggle to perform on the field was the major focus of the piece. Finding his own self confidence in the end gave him the ability to play at his best level, a story that can be encouraging to all. The illustrations by Andre Carrilho are rendered in a manner that gives a modern twist to the 1950¿s and 1960¿s time period, adding an element of timelessness to the event.This story can prove to be a great resource for librarians when dealing with youths who are more interested in sports than reading. It gives them a resource that is educational, inspiring and can serve as a connection between the act of playing sports, learning about current teams as well as the history of them. Additionally, this book could be recommended to little league coaches to boast the morale of their team and lend inspiration to players.
kthomp25 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great book for baseball fans. Addresses history and prejudice. Pair with Christopher Bing's Casey at the Bat. 3-D cover and a bold art style.
anniecase on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What a great non-fiction piece! This book has gorgeous illustrations and a narrator written so realistically, you can almost hear the Brooklyn accent. Great information, but told in story format rather than one fact at a time. Perfect for baseball fans, but also students of history.
CCHCrow More than 1 year ago
I highly recommend this book to the families of all young baseball fans (who probably haven't heard of Sandy Koufax). In an age of steroid scandals and "it's-all-about-me" players, Sandy Koufax stands out as a superstar who shunned the limelight, retired at the top of his game to protect the health of that famous left arm, and was a hero both to Dodger fans and to the Jewish community. The text is conversational and easy to read while still being full of details, and the illustrations are delightful; I was reminded of the work of Al Hirschfeld. I especially liked the addition of the small fact boxes on many pages that helped to put Sandy Koufax into true historical perspective: arguably the greatest lefty pitcher of all time. A great read and important book for baseball fans of all ages.