Yesterday you came up in a chapter I was reading aloud to my class* from the forthcoming Candace Fleming title, The Fabled Fourth Graders of Aesop Elementary School. You see, the fourth grade teacher in the book decided to hold a poetry contest and one child won by reciting from memory all fifty-eight lines of Ernest Lawrence Thayer’s “Casey at the Bat: A Ballad of the Republic.” Nice, don’t you think? Especially given your….um….unfortunate experience in that poem.
Anyway, I finished the chapter at the end of the school day so today I started by reading your complete poem aloud. I decided to read from my favorite version of it, Christopher Bing’s absolutely glorious picture book version. Full of fake newspapers, tickets, ads, money, and even ripped paper the book is simply wonderful. As is the poem. Thayer really hit the nail on the head with his wonderful parody of the serious poems of his day (and I’m guessing one of his targets might have been the then enormously popular Longfellow).
The kids listened riveted. When I finished there were such smiles! One or two told me they knew what was going to happened because the last line was in yesterday’s chapter and a couple others had seen the book when much younger. But they all enjoyed your story tremendously. Perfect for this time of year!
A very different version of your book (that I told my class about not having a copy at school) is one by Kids Can Press illustrated by Joe Morse. Bet you’d like that one too!
Sure hope the good citizens of Mudville didn’t ride you out of town on a rail and that you came back in the next game.
* We’ve now put a photo of the class on the banner of the class blog for anyone interested!