Corey, S., & Gibbon, R. (ill.) (2003). Players in pigtails. New York: Scholastic Press. ISBN: 9780439183055
Annotation: Katie Casey LOVES baseball, and when all the male players get drafted for WWII, she finally gets her chance to play for real, in front of huge crowds.
Reaction: I LOVE A League of Their Own (“There’s no CRYING in BASEBALL!”). I watched it so many times as a kid, and I still find myself quoting it in my daily life. It’s a great, funny movie, featuring strong women who kick butt and don’t let men tell them what to do.
I also loved Shana Corey’s other books that I’ve read, so I knew I wanted to check this out and finding out that she was inspired by A League of Their Own made me more excited about it. Corey includes the 1908 lyrics to “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” and surprisingly, the verses that no one knows are how much a girl loves baseball! Corey’s fictionalized account of Katie Casey who ends up playing for the girl’s baseball league during WWII is a fun introduction to this part of our US history.
Gibbon’s illustrations are a great accompaniment to the story. The art is cute, colors bright and eye-catching. Gibbon really captures the awesome, liberating feeling of all these girls getting a chance to live their dreams.
I would give this book to girls who love sports and need to see women involved in professional sports. It’s also a great book for to use in a classroom as part of a WWII unit to highlight women’s roles at home during the war, and it shows boys that girls can be just as talented in sports.
Media Used: Watercolor and colored pencil
Illustrator’s Website: None