I was surprised with Margo’s pick from the library this week, but I was not disappointed! She insisted on getting Miracle Mud: Lena Blackburne and the Secret Mud that Changed Baseball by David A. Kelly. She does like to get messy, so maybe the dripping mud attracted her to the story, because she's normally not a big baseball fan. Margo has been chanting “mud” all around the house since we finished reading it; maybe she’s just hoping for the mud that is sure to come this spring- once all the snow melts. I'm sure when it does she'll get down and dirty in our yard.
This is the true story of how a special mud became the standard by which professional baseballs got prepared for games. Lena Blackburne wanted to play professional baseball and make it to the Baseball Hall of Fame. But, his baseball skills weren’t good enough for his dreams to come true. He still loved the sport and stayed part of it in any way that he could. One problem was the soggy baseballs that batters couldn’t hit very far. The baseballs needed the shine to be taken off of them, and most people used dirty water to do this (or other even more disgusting methods). When Lena discovers a mud that can do the job, he changes the way baseballs are prepared for play. His mud was a miracle, not only to him, but to all the baseball players who have used it over the past seventy five years. I was so stunned when I read this book with Margo. She loved the mud, but I was amazed by the fact that professional baseballs need to get “dirtied” before they can be used to play. I immediately started looking up facts and was shocked by what I learned. I also enjoyed the pictures, which are done in a way that your eye focuses on parts of the illustrations that tied into the text. The pictures made me ready to go to a baseball game and enjoy some time in the sunshine.
Miracle Mud: Lena Blackburne and the Secret Mud that Changed Baseball is a great book for baseball fans, those who like to learn the story behind interesting facts, or people, like Margo, who like to get dirty. A short picture book that is sure to be a hit during baseball season. With the facts at the end, I bet you will learn something new too!
Happy reading! ~ F