N.Y. Big Blue Blogspot:
Doug Keith and the people at Simply Read Books have come together to create B is for Baseball: Alphabet Cards. What they are, as you can see from the picture above, is a form of flash cards themed around America’s pastime. They are for all ages, but I think grade school kids would get the most out of them. There’s a story being told on each card though, and some may not be as obvious to the younger children, so adults get something out of these as well. These cards also double as regular flash cards, as the uppercase and lowercase version of each letter are printed on the back of each card. Not every letter is as easy to spot as the A, B, C, and D’s of the world, and if you shuffle all the cards out of order, you can get a game going with anybody.
What makes B is for Baseball standout from most cards of this type, aside from the theme, are the illustrations. You can tell Doug Keith has been working on his craft for many years, as each card is well detailed. There’s no official Major League Baseball license, but there are certainly hints toward teams and players in these cards. There’s a player sporting the Rollie Fingers mustache, there’s hints of a certain speedster from the Oakland A’s past, a card with a pinstriped player blowing bubble gum (see above), and a few classic jersey color schemes that you may have seen in Houston or Montreal (amongst others) throughout the set. The real trick is, if you look close enough to these great works, you can see each card has the letter it corresponds with as the players and umpires jersey logos. So while it may look like a player is in a Yankees jersey, he’s rocking the “I” for the letter he represents. Just a little extra detail that proves how thoughtful each card is.
After getting a look at these cards I’m interested in seeing more work from Mr. Doug Keith. He clearly has an eye for the game, and the ability to tell a tale with just a picture. B is for Baseball is for the parent looking to teach their kid about the alphabet and the great sport of baseball at the same time. When I was growing up I would have loved if they had these flashcards in my grade school. B is for Baseball: Alphabet Cards are going to be released in May of this year (2011), and will be priced at 12.95 USD.
Boston Red Thoughts
"I received something very different in the mail this weekend: B is for Baseball Alphabet Cards by Emmy-Award winning Artist Doug Keith. The 26 cards, the first in a series of sports cards, depicts each letter of the alphabet made up of baseball players, umpires, and even fans, partaking in all aspects of the game to help entertain and teach the ABC’s…. (That is the letter T to the right…)
Good for children 3 and up, this charming box set of 26 4.5 x 6.5 cards will be available for sale in May 2011, for $12.95 wherever books are sold..
A must have for any young baseball fan–or a young person you want to help become a baseball fan…Check them out!"
Artist Doug Keith has tried to make a solution for a problem many baseball fans across the country face in regards to raising their young ones. Often parents of America’s Pastime are left asking themselves, “How can I bring the game I love to my children at a young age in a way they will understand?” Well these parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts alike need not search any longer as B is for Baseball Alphabet Cards provides the obvious answer to that question.
These basic premise behind these cards is the same as any other stack of alphabet cards that one might find at a toy or book store. The catch is that every card contains a character related to baseball, mimicking a letter of the alphabet. The set comes out right in time for the start of Spring Training fever and at a great point for children to learn their letters related to baseball.
The back of the box of cards reads, “A for alphabet, B for baseball, C for cards and together they form this set of flashcards by Doug Keith that captures the action and spirit of the sport.”
While conventional thinking would lead viewers to believe Keith just used players in his designs, the cards illustrate otherwise. Keith used images of every aspect of the game that a fan would see when attending the ballpark. Everything from images of players sitting on the bench, to images of umpires, hotdog vendors and fans. These cards will allow kids to learn about all aspects of the game and get adjusted to the type of entertainment their loved ones already enjoy. In addition to using different kinds of people, Keith also depicts different situations as well including players at the plate, on the base paths, in the field and even coaches arguing with umpires.
In addition to each card featuring a player, or other baseball person, shaped in a letter, the clothing that that person is wearing has the letter on it as well. This should help children with their learning as they will have multiple avenues and associations with the letter, in addition to helping parents teach their kids the game as well.
The cards come in a tightly encased box with a slide out feature that holds the cards. This feature allows it to easily fit in diaper bags and purses for on the go learning. Encasing the box is a picture depicting the first four cards in the set placed over a baseball.
This set would make a great gift at a baby shower for the child of a baseball fan, or even a birthday, or other holiday present for children as well. This set truly illustrates, “where love of learning and love of the game intersect,” as children will learn their alphabet, and perhaps how to spell (hopefully words related to baseball) while also being entertained.
Illustrator Doug Keith has had his work featured in more than 40 illustrated books since opening his own illustration and design studio in 1983. He has also illustrated a series of popular alphabet posters and a number of fine art commissions. Keith is the recipient of an Emmy Award for graphic design, many Publishers Marketing Association Awards and an Award for Excellence from the Society of Newspaper Design.
The set was released on March 1, 2011 by Simply Read Books and retails for $12.95. To see a complete list of works by this publisher, visit www.simplyreadbooks.com. The set is distributed by Publishers Group West.
Review from Chicago Now
Like most dads, I want nothing more for my kids than to do well in school, treat others as they would treat themselves and be active citizens of the world. Running right behind those 3? I really want them to enjoy baseball.
Baseball was my first love when it came to sports. This was fostered by my family's love of the game, and by reading plenty of Matt Christopher books as a kid. But now, you can start teaching the game and the alphabet to your children even earlier with "B is for Baseball: Alphabet Cards", by Doug Keith.
This is the first in a series that will keep young sports fans in the game and into learning their ABCs. The cards are an entertaining look at the alphabet through funny illustrations that capture the spirit and action of baseball. From A to Z, young learners will find that "P" could be a pitcher beginning his wind-up; "L" could be an outfielder who catches the ball and the wall at the same time; "A" could be batter practicing his mighty swing; and "Y" could be an ump calling "Yer out!".
This is a really neat way to teach kids about their ABCs, as well as the great game of baseball.
Simply Read Books recently sent me Doug Keith’s “B is for Baseball: Alphabet Cards.”
These are baseball themed falsh cards to teach your litle ones the alphabet.
Keith’s illustrations on each card are outstanding. I showed them to my kids. And, even though mine, almost seven and nine, are too old for alphabet flashcards, they enjoyed seeing how each letter was formed in a baseball setting – like a batter at the plate, a player in the field, player on deck, etc. Great stuff.
If you’re a big baseball fan and you have, or know someone who has, a little one about ready to learn the alphabet, you owe it to yourself to check out “B is for Baseball: Alphabet Cards.”
As the only resident Jesuit, Mon Calamarian, and father who openly proclaims his love of kids music
(really, some of it’s pretty good!), Kyle thought I would be a good choice to write about B is for Baseball Alphabet Cards by Doug Keith. (We don't want to rehash the loss to the Reds again, do we?) These flash cards are your basic alphabet card set with a baseball drawing on one side and text of the letter on the back.
Although my little one has only been to Miller Park four times, she knows baseball related items at first glance. So it took my two year old all of two seconds to start looking at the cards and rattling off the letters. It was a great opportunity for me to start to explain to her about hitters, umpires, catcher and lots of other baseball terms.
B is for Baseball is features the drawings of Doug Keith. The guy is no slouch; his bio says
: "Doug Keith has worked on more than forty illustrated books, a series of popular alphabet posters, and numerous fine art commissions. He has received the Emmy Award for Graphic Design and the Publishers Marketing Association (Ben Franklin) Awards for picture book illustration."
His illustrations are really top notch and I found myself looking at the drawings for several minutes checking out all the little details. The letter ‘K’ is a fat-bellied ump talking to the catcher, the letter ‘C’ looks like Ryan Braun misjudging a ball in left field, the letter 'V' has two players diving after the same ball.
The set comes in a box that is small and compact, and I fully expect this will be one of the first things we pack on our road trip to the College World Series. With Father’s Day right around the corner, this thing is pretty much a no-brainer: it’s a fun, inexpensive gift that will provide hours of continued entertainment and baseball education for the kids. The alphabet letters on the back works well for the younger set (2-4yrs old) and the baseball drawings will keep the older kids (5-101yrs old) interested for a long time.