Perfect Picture Book Friday: YOGI: The Life, Loves, and Language of Baseball Legend Yogi Berra

Hurray! I’m back home…and it’s Friday…and you know what that means. A review of a wonderful picture book!

Before I share the review, I need to celebrate my return from an incredible round-the-world journey by announcing the winners of several giveaways (and hopefully, by Sunday, I will be able to announce the winners of the #50PreciousWords and give everyone a heads-up regarding the #50PreciousWordsforKids International Writing Challenge).

A big thank you to all of the generous authors and illustrators who have donated these books.

A double-header giveaway of Lindsay Leslie’s THIS BOOK IS SPINELESS and NOVA THE STAR EATER goes to:


A copy of HAND IN HAND by Andria Rosenbaum goes to:


A copy of LITTLE TIGER by Julie Abery goes to:


A copy of LITTLE PANDA by Julie Abery goes to:




And last, but certainly not least, a signed copy of GROWING SEASON by MaryAnn Coccoa-Leffler goes to:



And now, back to our regularly scheduled program…which is a review of a brand-new book from one of my favorite picture book authors who writes LOTS of nonfiction, Barbara Rosenstock! When I heard she had written a book about Yogi Berra, I knew I had to read it…I was born and bred in NYC…so the Yankees and the Mets were the baseball teams I would always root for. In fact, during the 1961 season, I ran home from high school to watch them play. Roger Maris was trying to break the homerun record…which he did…batting in 61 home runs that year!

Yogi cover


Written by Barb Rosenstock

Illustrated by Terry Widener

Published by Calkins Cfeek (2019)

Ages: 7-10

Themes: Baseball, perseverance, be yourself

Opening LinesLawdie Berra loved…His family–Mom, Pop, Tony, Mike, John, and baby Josie. His Italian neighborhood, La Montagna, ‘The HIll,’ in St. Louis, Missouri. His friends. Sports.

Lawdie Berra did not love…school.When neighbors asked, “How do you like school?” Lawdie answered, “Closed.”

YOGI spread 1

Synopsis: From Amazon:

Perfect to celebrate the new baseball season, here is the life and famous words, such as “it ain’t over till it’s over,” of Major League Baseball player and New York Yankee Lawrence “Yogi” Berra.

Yogi Berra loved his family, his neighborhood, his friends, and, most of all, baseball. He was crazy for it, ever since he was a young kid playing with friends in an abandoned dump. But baseball didn’t love him back–at least not at first. Yogi was different. He didn’t have the right look. When he finally made it to the major leagues, Yogi faced pranks and harassment from players, sportswriters, and fans. Their words hurt, but they made Yogi determined to show all that he could do. Author Barb Rosenstock’s dynamic text and illustrator Terry Widener’s powerful artwork reveal the talents, loves, and inspirational words of this celebrated New York Yankee and American icon, who earned a World Series ring for each finger and made baseball love him back.

YOGI spread 2

Why I love this book:

  • Fabulous text…lyrical, yet down to earth…kind of like Yogi Berra. The author nails his style/personality and uses his quotes as the header for many of the pages
  • Vivid strong illustrations marry perfectly with the text, bringing the words to life
  • Wonderful detailed back matter that will delight any baseball fan, young or old

And why my 10-year-old grandson, Jeremy, loves this book:

  • He loved the language – the many expressions and quotes that the author found during her research…this created a real connection for my grandson to the main character.
  • He said he would definitely read it again and would recommend it to his friends.
  • He enjoyed the back matter and said it would be a great resource for anyone who  wanted to find out more details about Yogi Berra.

YOGI spread 3

And here is just one of the many glowing reviews this book has already received:

Booklist calls YOGI: “(A) loving tribute to New York Yankee baseball legend Yogi Berra. Back matter documents his amazing career… and complement the storylike text that introduces a simple Italian kid from Saint Louis who loved his family, loved his friends, and really, really loved baseball. The illustrations capture the wistful, nostalgic mood… readers will come away with an appreciation for both the amazing athlete and the humble, unique individual. Source notes, a bibliography, and additional background information elevate this offering into viable research material, making this an entertaining and worthy addition to sports biography collections.”

 Please remember, my friends, the best gift we can give a favorite author is to buy their book, review their book, tell others about the book, and request that our local library add the book to their collection. I know how busy you all are…but YOGI only has ONE review on Amazon…and Sweet Dreams, Sarah only has six.


10-Awesome-Baseball-CraftsPhoto courtesy:

Ten wonderful craft ideas! For detailed instructions:

I want to thank everyone for their patience regarding the #50PreciousWords Contest…I hope to have an announcement of the winners by the end of the weekend. Traveling definitely put a kink in my ability to use the computer…and in some areas, I was without internet for days at a time. But the trip was amazing…seeing places I’d never been and meeting friends I’d only known online…that was mind-blowing! I hope many of you were able to enjoy the photos that were posted on Facebook and the blog posts that Diane Tulloch created with videos of me reading my three debut books and doing presentations and storytimes in Australia and New Zealand.

Here are a few of the links to Diane’s blog:

If you are looking for more wonderful picture book reviews and activities for kids, please hop over to Susanna Hill’s wonderful Perfect Picture Book Friday linkup.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Stay safe…and warm…we actually had SNOW here in New Hampshire on Tuesday night.


23 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday: YOGI: The Life, Loves, and Language of Baseball Legend Yogi Berra

  1. Ooh! That book looks like a winner in my eyes!! I think a lot of adults would enjoy it, too. I love how she weaves his words into the text to really reveal his character. And the cover pic is pretty awesome, too! LOVE LOVE!


  2. Lovely post my dear friend. And I am so glad you are safely back home. But bittersweet that you are not here with me. We had such fun and I will always remember our laugh-out-loud moments which were often. I would love to have you back anytime. Just make it soon. So glad that the boxes arrived in one piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Time to unpack, fill the hamper, kick off the shoes, and sit back to sip wine. Welcome back! Your journey sounds like a well-deserved check mark off your “Bucket List.” YOGI is one I’m requesting our library purchase. I research the new PB section each week, carrying along my “Wish List.” I enjoyed the candid comments from your grandson. Clever reviewer like Grandma!


  4. I, too, love this book! And I’m a Cubs fan, LOL. I featured it a couple of weeks ago while you were on travel, Vivian. Rosenstock is a master. This one pairs so well with another one of hers that I reviewed a year or two ago, THE STREAK, about Joe Dimaggio. I can’t get enough of her work.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Fabulous cover — looks like it is done in oils and reminds me of another illustrator’s work. I love biographies. And it doesn’t get any better than to start off the baseball season with Yogi Berra!

    I am so delighted you had such a great trip. It really enjoyed watching each and every video Diane shared. She certainly created a travel log for you. Welcome home!


  6. Welcome Back! I’m back too from N. Ireland, and have equipped two grandchildren each a new desk, lamp and office type chair for their future studies, drawing dragons from Delenne, and for inspiring a place of their own to reach for their dreams. Glad to have you (and me) back in the states.


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