There Goes Ted Williams: The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived by Matt Tavares


I grew up in the state of Indiana, where basketball stood as the supreme sport, and moved to a city Boston, where baseball reigns. Consequently, like most Bostonians, I know that today the Red Sox play their first game in spring training. So I thought I would use this occasion to talk about one of […]

20th Century, Baseball, History, Sports, World War II
Featured on February 27

How Tom Beat Captain Najork and His Team of Hired Sportsmen by Russell Hoban
Illustrated by Quentin Blake


Today on the Almanac, I send birthday greetings to Sir Quentin Blake, born outside of London. While still a teenager, he began contributing to Punch magazine. After studying English at Cambridge, he took life-drawing classes at the Chelsea Art School and, in 1960, began a glorious career as a children’s book illustrator—one that has resulted […]

Humor, Imagination, Sports
Featured on December 16

Tangerine by Edward Bloor

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On May 21, 1904, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) was founded in Paris. Today the Fédération administers the World Cup. What the rest of the world calls “football” has been renamed soccer in the United States. Over the last decade, because of soccer’s obvious advantages—an exciting game, team play, and inexpensive equipment—the sport […]

Family, Soccer, Sports
Featured on May 21

A Nation’s Hope by Matt de la Peña

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December has been designated Read a New Book Month, and this week we are celebrating Kwanzaa. The book of the day, A Nation’s Hope: The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis, fits for both holidays and combines the talents of Matt de la Peña and Kadir Nelson in one of the best new offerings of […]

African American, Boxing, History, Multicultural, Sports, World War II
Featured on December 27

The Sailor Dog by Margaret Wise Brown
Illustrated by Garth Williams


On October 1, 1942, a brave new experiment in publishing was launched as collaboration between Simon & Schuster and Western Printing and Lithograph Company. The project was described as “a new series of 25 cent books for children,” with an initial print run of 600,000 copies each. Carried in independent bookstores, these volumes also made […]

Animals, Dogs, Sailing, Sports
Featured on October 1

First Pitch by John Thorn

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On September 2, 1850, Albert Goodwill Spalding was born on a farm in Byron, Illinois. As a boy he began to play baseball in boarding school, and as an adult he became one of the great pitchers in America. Spalding brought four pennants to his Boston Red Stockings club before he headed to the Midwest […]

Baseball, History, Sports
Featured on September 2

Clemente! by Willie Perdomo
Illustrated by Bryan Collier

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On August 18, 1934, one of the most revered National League baseball players of all times, Roberto Clemente, was born in Carolina, Puerto Rico. Considered something of a saint in his native land, Clemente made his fame in America, after being drafted in 1954 by the Pittsburgh Pirates. He brought new life to the team […]

Baseball, History, Latino, Multicultural, Sports
Featured on August 18

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordicai Gerstein


Born in France on August 13, 1949, Philippe Petit became a high-wire artist best remembered for an event that took place on August 7, 1974. That day he walked on a tightrope between two World Trade Center skyscrapers in New York City. In the air for around an hour, he danced and performed tricks—as New […]

History, New York, Sports
Featured on August 13

Eyes on the Goal by John Coy

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On May 21, 1904, The Fédération International de Football Association (FIFA) was founded in Paris. Today the Federation administers the World Cup. Football— renamed soccer in the States—is a favorite sport around the world because it’s an exciting game, played as a team, and uses inexpensive equipment. But for years soccer remained a relatively unknown […]

Soccer, Sports
Featured on May 21

Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner


Today the Iditarod, “the last great race on earth,” begins in Anchorage, Alaska. Dog teams and humans will travel 1,150 miles through Alaskan wilderness to Nome. Some families and classes like to encourage children to pick a team and follow it throughout the month, writing about its journey. And for a story to introduce dog […]

Adventure, Animals, Dogs, Multicultural, Native American, Seasons, Sports, Winter
Featured on March 5

Honus & Me by Dan Gutman

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On February 24, 1874, Honus Wagner was born in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Called “The Flying Dutchman,” because of his great speed and his German heritage, Wagner played shortstop for the Pittsburgh Pirates, won eight batting titles, and became one of the first five players inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Because Wagner disliked smoking, when […]

Baseball, History, Sports
Featured on February 24

Baseball Saved Us by Ken Mochizuki
Illustrated by Dom Lee


Executive order 9066: On February 19, 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt sent 110,000 Japanese Americans, two-thirds of them U.S. Citizens, to concentration camps in remote desert areas. Not allowed to return to their homes until January 2, 1945, these families lost an estimated $400 million worth in property—not to mention their own freedom and sense of […]

Asian American, Baseball, History, Multicultural, Sports, World War II
Featured on February 19

You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?! by Jonah Winter
Illustrated by Andre Carrilho

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December 30, 1935, marks the birthday of Sandy Koufax, left-handed pitcher for the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers. When inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972, Koufax became the youngest player to receive that honor. But 1972 happened in the dark ages if you are six to ten. How can a baseball player of that […]

Baseball, Jewish, Multicultural, Sports
Featured on December 30

In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson by Bette Bao Lord
Illustrated by Marc Simont


On November 3, 1938, Bette Bao was born in Shanghai, China. By the age of eight she came to the United States with her father and mother and one sister. When Mao Zedong and his Communist party won the Chinese civil war, the Boas were stranded in America. Bette’s youngest sister Sansan had been left […]

Baseball, Family, History, Immigration, New York, Sports
Featured on November 3

Bats at the Ballgame by Brian Lies


Today the boys of October, the World Series contenders, begin the final part of the yearly epic quest—to gain the World Series pennant. For over a century, baseball and baseball legend have been an integral part of American life. If you plan to watch or attend the World Series, or if you just want to […]

Animals, Baseball, Bats, Humor, Sports
Featured on October 27

Daily children’s book recommendations and events from Anita Silvey.

Discover the stories behind the children’s book classics . . .

The new books on their way to becoming classics . . .

And events from the world of children’s books—and the world at large.