The Kid from Diamond Street: The Extraordinary Story of Baseball Legend Edith Houghton, by Audrey Vernick, illustrated by Steven Salerno; Clarion Press, $17.99, 38 pages, ages 6-9.
Baseball is officially in season, and what better way to celebrate America’s pastime than with a few well-chosen children’s books? First-Grade Dropout author Audrey Vernick’s latest picture book explores the often overlooked story of legendary ballplayer Edith Houghton (1912-2013), who, as a ten year old, played starting shortstop for the all-women’s Philadelphia Bobbies in the 1920s. Houghton and the Bobbies competed against men’s teams at home and abroad–their trip to Japan was an international sensation. Salerno’s charcoal and gouache illustrations capture Houghton’s love of the sport while also channeling the vibrance and modernity of the 1920s and 30s. Though Vernick peppers choice quotes from Houghton throughout the text, there is no mention of her sources in the author’s notes–the only strike against this otherwise excellent book on the joy of sport.