It’s been a bit of a strange spring so far in New England. After a winter so warm I never even pulled out my wool socks, the summery March days we had woke the tulips up ahead of schedule before cooling way down again. Baseball season, however, started up right on time, and this year I’ve been paying a little more attention than usual. In conjunction with the current exhibition, We are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball, Original Paintings by Kadir Nelson, The Carle will be hosting its annual Children’s Book Festival on Saturday, June 9th. It’s going to be a great day, filled with author and illustrator demonstrations, story times, a choral performance, guided gallery tours, games, art activities, and even a special presentation by members of the Negro League Baseball Players Association.
I’m not proud to admit that I’ve been pretty ignorant of baseball most of my life (it was after moving to the Boston area a few years ago, that I learned that Red Sox was spelled with an –x at the end as opposed to the more traditional ‘socks’), but this season has been different. Surrounded by the deep beauty of Kadir Nelson’s paintings and helping to plan the baseball-themed Children’s Book Festival has revealed to me the allure of the sport—the patience, the elegance, the ability to fail but then still succeed. And along with that, I’ve discovered an amazing number of extraordinary baseball picture books—gorgeous books that capture the electric crack of the bat as well as tell stories of the sport’s momentous history and heroes. We’re grateful to have such a host of these illustrators and authors coming to the museum on June 9th to greet fans, sign books and talk about their work. Here is a sampling of just some of these wonderful books. Check them out, read up, and come back to have them signed on June 9th! Go Socks!