for Roberto Clemente
by Jonah Winter
and Raúl Colón
This picture book biography of baseball great Roberto Clemente begins with his Puerto Rican childhood as a boy “who had very little but a fever to play and win at baseball.” This drive took him from hitting empty soup cans with a guava tree branch up through the baseball hierarchy to the American major leagues and an invitation to play for the Pittsburgh Pirates. With Roberto’s help, the Pirates rose from last place to World Series champions. Goaded by derogatory media remarks, Roberto Clemente pushed himself further, until he achieved the highest batting average in the National League. Even that feat didn’t quell the racist insults and “it was starting to seem as if Roberto might never be respected.” Clemente went on to lead his team to another World Series victory in 1971. Clemente’s death in an airplane crash, while taking aid to victims of a Central American earthquake, underscores the humanitarian spirit of a man lauded as “the greatest all-around baseball player of his time, maybe of all time.” Raúl Colón’s warm-toned watercolor and colored pencil illustrations capture both the tropical setting of the Puerto Rico of Clemente’s youth, and the drama of the major ballparks of his adulthood. Interspersed pages of black-and-white pencil drawings add texture and visual interest to this lyrical tribute. (Ages 5–10)
CCBC Choices 2006 . © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2006. Used with permission.
A moving, exquisitely illustrated picture book biography of Roberto Clemente, legendary Latino baseball player, pioneer, and humanitarian.
On an island called Puerto Rico, there lived a little boy who wanted only to play baseball. Although he had no money, Roberto Clemente practiced and practiced until—eventually—he made it to the Major Leagues. As a right-fielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates, he fought tough opponents—and even tougher racism—but with his unreal catches and swift feet, he earned his nickname, "The Great One." He led the Pirates to two World Series, hit three-thousand hits, and was the first Latino to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. But it wasn't just baseball that made Clemente legendary—he was was also a humanitarian dedicated to improving the lives of others.
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.