A Baseball Story that Champions Uniqueness
Book Review of a Great Baseball Story:
"Stitches" by Kevin Morrison
Illustrated by John Nixon
Review by Laura Pickford Ramirez
"Stitches" is a charming baseball story that is destined to become a classic. The reasons are obvious--"Stitches" is centered around America's favorite past time--baseball--and remindsus that life is about going for our dreams.
The story opens in the Middlefield Baseball Factory, where brand newballs are being inspected and sorted into two categories: those destinedfor sale to sporting goods stores and baseball teams and those deemeddefective. In this magical baseball short story in which the balls can talk, Stitches, the protagonist, has a slight manufacturer's defect. Despitehis crooked stitches, he hopes that his flaw will be overlooked,so he can go for his dream of playing in the Major Leagues.
Although Stitches hopes are dashed when he ends up in the defectivepile, his life takes an unexpected turn when a mailman spots him ina secondhand store and takes him home as a gift for his son. Thisis when Stitches quest for a purposeful life begins.
After reading "Stitches" once, I read it to my sons and their friends,to gauge their interest in the book. This baseball story captivated theirinterest from the start and had them in stitches (sorry --I couldn't resist!) at several points in the story. Although myaudience was comprised of little leaguers who live and breathethe sport, this baseball short story is so universal that it will appeal to all.
Baseball stories hold a special place in our heartsbecause we're all aware of the courage it takes to work towarda dream. I know this personally, as my husband was a NativeAmerican pitcher who led his team to win the College World Seriesin 1970. My husband's rocket arm and love for baseball madehis education possible and opened many doors that would have been closed to him in the late 60's and early 70's.
"Stitches" is a baseball story that beautifully illustrates this point. As a baseball, Stitches is flawed, but his imperfection is part of hisuniqueness. In fact, without his defect, he might have been justan ordinary baseball. In life, flaws give us character and somethingto overcome. In sports, it is the athlete who rises above hisshortcomings that most captures our attention.
In baseball, as in life, working toward your dreams requirespractice and commitment in order to prepare yourself for the opportunities that arise and quickly pass away. As a parent, thisis a fundamental lesson to teach your children and a reason thatsports are an inspiration to us all.
Like "Stitches," the fulfillment of our destiny often takes us onunexpected paths, playing out in ways that challenge and transcendour imaginations.
Rating: Highly recommended.
Suggested Audience: 4 and up.
Format: Hardcover with illustrations.
Summary: A timeless baseball story for baseballfans of all ages.
Baseball Story - Children's Book Reviews
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