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F is for Fenway Review by April Elstrom

Jerry Pallotta
Sleeping Bear Press
P.O. Box 9187
Farmington Hills, MI 48333-9187

Jerry Pallotta is renowned for his alphabet books and other educational children's books. His most recent edition, F is for Fenway, joins a long line of excellent books by Jerry. F is for Fenway celebrates America's oldest major league baseball stadium, Fenway Park. This hardcover picture book is filled with facts about baseball, the Red Sox, and Fenway Park.

F is for Fenway has bold illustrations by John S. Dykes, which could only be created by a Red Sox fan. The illustrations embody the love of baseball and the excitement of the crowd watching a game at the ballpark. Each page is full of details to discover as you read the book. The illustrations also revive nostalgia for the history of baseball.

Jerry Pallotta's text has two levels. The rhyming alphabet poem can be read aloud to younger readers, or read for themselves by beginning readers. The book stands alone as an interesting, fact-filled baseball book with just that poem. But for the baseball devotee, or for older readers, the sidebars of each page contain paragraphs of additional information about Fenway Park and the Red Sox. The sidebars have a smaller font size to help differentiate them from the main text of the book.

When I read this book to my children, I only read the poem. I haven't read the sidebars aloud to them at all. But I've seen some of my independently reading children sit down and read the sidebars. We are not Red Sox fans, in fact, we’re not even baseball fans really, and we've never been to Fenway Park, but we still found the book interesting.

I am sure that families who enjoy baseball will love F is for Fenway, whether they are Red Sox fans or not. Even though it will primarily appeal to boys, I know there are also little girls out there who will enjoy it. It's a unique alphabet book that every library should have for all the little baseball fans out there.

Product Review by April Elstrom, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, April, 2012