Reviews for There Goes Ted Williams : The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived

Booklist Reviews 2012 March #2
Hall of Fame baseball star Ted Williams had one lifetime goal. When people saw him, he wanted them to acknowledge, "There goes Ted Williams, the greatest hitter who ever lived." From his San Diego boyhood to his last at bat, this picture-book biography skims the key moments in Williams' military and professional career. More homage than biography, the narrative covers the bases but reveals almost nothing of Williams' personality or life outside baseball. Striking portraits, rendered in watercolor, gouache, and pencil, show the skinny young Williams and his gradual physical maturation into the lanky, muscular mature athlete and navy pilot. Back matter includes career statistics, a bibliography, and an author's note, which does provide a smattering of personal information about the Boston outfielder. The dramatic period art will attract reluctant readers and baseball fans, but the fans will hunger for more about the man. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Fall
Present-tense narrative lends drama and immediacy to Tavares's all-smiles-and-heroics biography of Boston Red Sox slugger Williams. Watercolor, gouache, and pencil illustrations depict Williams as large as a double-page spread can hold. The less smiley and heroic side to Williams's character is reserved for an interesting author's note. Published in time for Fenway Park's centennial celebrations, this full-of-life biography is a hit. Bib.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2012 #1
Tavares continues his love affair with baseball with an ode to Boston Red Sox slugger Ted Williams, one of the greatest players of all time. Despite missing three years to World War II and flying thirty-nine combat missions in Korea, Williams amassed staggering statistics over a long career, and fans will always wonder what those stats might have been had he not lost those years. His most memorable season was 1941, when he batted .406 and was only twenty-one years old, but his career ran until 1960, when he hit a homer in his last at-bat. Tavares's present-tense narrative lends drama and immediacy to the all-smiles-and-heroics biography, and the watercolor, gouache, and pencil illustrations depict Williams as large as a double-page spread can hold. On one spread, Williams's head, torso, and baseball bat, in typical homerun swing, consume the available space. Turn the page, and an F9F Panther fighter jet all but flies out of the book. Turn again, and Ted is in the reader's face, fleeing the burning wreckage of his plane. The less smiley and heroic side to Williams's character is reserved for an interesting author's note, where Tavares discusses his own lifelong fascination with the Boston star. Published in time for Fenway Park's centennial celebrations, this full-of-life biography will be a hit with young baseball fans. dean schneider

Kirkus Reviews 2012 February #1
Ted Williams' goal was, as the subtitle suggests, to be the greatest hitter who ever lived. His career was legendary, even though, for several seasons at the peak of his abilities, it was interrupted by military service in World War II and Korea. He was able to capitalize on dramatic moments; he hit home runs in his first game upon returning from World War II, in his last game before reporting for duty in Korea and again when he returned. And of course he hit one for his last major league at-bat. Williams was a complex and difficult personality, but Tavares chooses to focus on these larger-than-life heroics, telling of Williams' desire to be the best at everything he attempted and the joy he felt when he accomplished his goals. The language is rich in imagery, with short, action-packed sentences. The free-verse text is either separated on a sepia background framed in red, or laid over the illustrations. Commanding watercolor, gouache and pencil illustrations depict Williams in action as a boy, a major-leaguer and a Navy pilot. Tavares captures him well in his Red Sox uniform, with his unique swing and home-run trot. A baseball hero and an American hero, the last player to hit over .400 in a season; here, Ted Williams is introduced to a new generation of baseball fans. (author's note, statistics, bibliography) (Picture book/ biography. 6-10) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 February #1

Hall of Famer Ted Williams began playing baseball professionally at age 17, joining the then minor league San Diego Padres and playing his entire major league career with the Boston Red Sox. With subtle rhythm, Tavares's prose poem depicts the course of Williams's career, from his tireless commitment to practice ("He watches his swing in the mirror,/ again and again and again./ Two on, two out, last of the ninth...") through events that took him away from the field, including the eruption of two wars. But Williams always returned to baseball: rejoining the Red Sox after his plane is shot down in Korea, Williams hits 13 home runs in 37 games and is named Player of the Decade for the 1950s (Tavares briefly notes some of Williams's less positive traits in an afterword). With smooth, sweeping lines and naturalistic details, Tavares's mixed-media artwork conveys Williams's joyful devotion to his sport. Ages 6-10. Agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. (Feb.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 January

Gr 2-6--Following his outstanding Henry Aaron's Dream (Candlewick, 2010), Tavares has written an equally stunning book about another Baseball Hall of Famer. Even as a child, Williams had only one goal--to be the greatest hitter who ever lived. His work ethic, combined with immense talent, carried him through a career of 21 years, all with the Boston Red Sox, in which he seemed to conjure up magical moments at will. The author covers many of the highlights: Williams's game-winning home run in the 1941 All-Star game; his .406 season (a record that still stands); his numerous batting titles; his career-closing home run (immortalized by John Updike in a 1960 New Yorker article). In an author's note, Tavares shares how he learned to love the player, warts and all, through the stories his father told him. Williams's charisma dominates the illustrations, from the very first one of a scrawny boy swinging under the palm trees of a San Diego playground, to his final trip around the bases at Fenway. Due attention is also given to Williams's distinguished military career, which he approached with the same determination to dominate as he did hitting. The anecdote about him choosing to crash his disabled fighter jet rather than eject and risk breaking his legs--which would end his baseball career, if his age of 35 didn't--is a testament to the larger-than-life personality Tavares is trying to contain in his book. This is a glorious tribute to a baseball legend and a complicated human being.--Kara Schaff Dean, Walpole Public Library, MA

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