Cover image for Diamond life : baseball sights, sounds, and swings
Diamond life : baseball sights, sounds, and swings
Smith, Charles R., Jr., 1969-
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Orchard Books, [2004]

Physical Description:
31 pages : color illustrations ; 26 cm
In this poetic and photographic celebration of baseball, Charles R. Smith Jr.'s clever wordplay and vibrant images capture the many facets of life lived on the diamond.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS595.B33 S65 2004 Juvenile Non-Fiction Childrens Area

On Order



Acclaimed poet and photographer, Charles R. Smith, Jr., brings America's favorite pastime to life in this bright, energetic ode to the game of baseball.

Sliding into first. Striking out. Hitting a home run. Playing baseball can be thrilling, heartbreaking, and always, quintessentially, American. In this celebration of the game, Charles Smith's luminous, artful photographs and rhythmic, free-flowing text create an unforgettable portrait of all the joys, frustrations, and surprises of life lived on the baseball diamond. A mix of rhyming verse and lyrical prose bring to life the myriad emotions of young baseball players, and colorful photographs of batters, balls, and, of course, diamonds, capture the essence of our nation's beloved pastime.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 1-4. A celebration of America's pastime that inventively utilizes a jazzed layout, multiple fonts, and enhanced photography. It's baseball as played by young people, and by older people in memory, that Smith takes as his theme. Some of the more nostalgic pieces will tug more at adult rather than child readers. Smith uses rhymed verse, dialogue, and heightened narrative in engaging ways: B-I-N-G-O and Waiting Game reproduce the patter on the field, rhythmic as rap. To the Moon catalogs just how far the ball went, and Listen,id . . . provides a handful of beloved baseball bromides. In What's My Name? a pitcher hurls his nicknames (Dominator . . . Strike Activator . . . Accumulator ) along with his pitches. Opposite the poem is a close-up photo of the pitcher's hand holding the ball behind his knee, his pants overlaid with the shadowed lattice of the fence. Richly festive and fun. --GraceAnne DeCandido Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Just in time for spring training, Smith (Rimshots; Hoop Queens) offers up an irrepressible, visually bold paean to everything baseball. As with his previous books, each spread bears an evocative title and showcases an impressionistic, color-saturated photo-in this case, from Little League play. The typography often seems as rowdy as a hometown crowd. In "Hear That Sound?!" a baseball is seen at the moment it tips into a fielder's glove (the batter's shadow appears on the ground), while on the opposite page, a stack of onomatopoeia in an array of type sizes and colors explodes off a bright yellow background-"Pop!/ Scratch/ Whiff!/ Whack!/ Whooooosh!" Other poems' pacing and banter capture specific positions on the field: "Diamond Vision" takes the calm, watchful perspective of a catcher ("From behind the mask/ my eyes do see/ the game unfold/ in front of me"), while the pitcher narrates in a rapid-fire rap-style in "What's My Name?" ("They call me/ The Dominator/ Mound Intimidator,/ Missile Throwing/ High and Tight/ Strike Activator"). The book isn't quite a home run, however. The dense copy blocks in a number of poems plus the hyperkinetic type may eventually try readers' patience. But for youngsters who can think of little else once baseball season starts, this may be almost as satisfying as knocking one out of the park. All ages. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-5-Smith captures the colorful language and vivid images of the game: "Hey batta-batta-batta-batta-battaaaaaaa!- Show me something batta. Put me to work.- My feet are falling asleep out here" ("Waiting Game"). The author is especially skilled at creating shaped poems, like "There it Goes!!" which mimics the arc of the ball on its way from the pitcher to the batter. "Diamond Vision" is shaped like a baseball diamond and "To the Moon" like a baseball. The energetic, playful language begs to be read aloud. Combined with bright colors, bold print in a variety of fonts, and exceptional photography, this book is a winner.-Lee Bock, Glenbrook Elementary School, Pulaski, WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.