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Take Me Out to the Yakyu Hardcover – February 19, 2013


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 610L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (February 19, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442441771
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442441774
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 10.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #208,469 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Holding baseball jerseys from both the U.S. and Japan, this picture book’s young biracial narrator opens this two-country excursion by stating, I love baseball . . . in America . . . and in Japan. Readers will see why as the boy attends games in each country, accompanied by a doting grandfather. In the snappy text and parallel panels and pages, the boy delights in pointing out the differences in everything from the ballpark food (peanuts vs. soba noodles) to cheers and customs, though the pictures show some similarities as well. The day concludes with a bubble bath in the U.S., a steam ofuro in Japan, and then bed, surrounded by souvenirs of the day. The art has a fresh, attractive, naif quality that fits the story perfectly. Using mostly blue for the American team and red for the Japanese, the bright artwork does an excellent job of delineating each place while capturing the enthusiasm they share. Final pages include a chart of baseball words and other terms in English and Japanese and an author’s note with additional information. Easy to follow and fascinating even for nonfans, this bicultural baseball outing provides a fresh, joyful take on the grand old game. Preschool-Grade 2, --Linda Perkins

Review

* “Debut illustrator Meshon’s comparison of American and Japanese baseball is a skillful double play, entertaining (and educating) young baseball fans while affirming the growing number of children who live between two countries and two cultures…. Meshon’s spreads make it clear that though material circumstances may differ, human emotions are just the same…. Making a book that’s equal parts affection and edification isn’t easy; Meshon’s record is one for one.” (Publishers Weekly, November 26, 2012, *STARRED REVIEW)

* “The art has a fresh, attractive, naïf quality that fits the story perfectly. Using mostly blue for the American team and red for the Japanese, these bright pages do an excellent job of delineating each place while capturing the enthusiam they share. Final pages include a chart of baseball words and other fun words in English and Japanese and an author’s note with additional information. Easy to follow and fascinating even for nonfans, this bicultural baseball outing provides a fresh, joyful take on the grand old game.” (Booklist, February 1, 2013, *STARRED REVIEW)

“The chunky font, candy-colored cartoon pictures, and Japanese pop-art style will have plenty of appeal for newly independent readers, and an author’s note adds more comparative detail about game rules and stadiums. Baseball-obsessed primary-schoolers will relish this offbeat addition to the meager beginning-reader sports collection.” (The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)

* “A young boy enjoys the best of two baseball worlds. This fortunate youngster can savor the fine points of baseball in America and yakyu in Japan…. It’s all a perfectly constructed, vivid picture of the two nations’ particular takes on what has become both of their national pastimes, as well as a multigenerational love of the game. Colorful charts of Japanese and English baseball terms and other words add to the fun. Yakyu or baseball, it’s all sheer joy.” (Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2013, *STARRED REVIEW)

“The mostly mirror images on the well-balanced pages set up a quiet rhythm, thrillingly interrupted when both hitters get a home run (“Crack! / Kakiiin!”) and their baseballs cross paths and go flying through the facing page. Young fans intrigued by the game’s cultural differences will easily see that rooting for the home team—whether it’s “Win! Win! Win!” or “Do your best!”—is fun no matter where you are.” (The Horn Book, March/April 2013)

"The bright and cheerful acrylic illustrations feature shades of blue for the U. S. and reds for Japan, making it easy to distinguish between the two. The pages are nicely designed with clean lines and no clutter. A lively and enjoyable read for baseball fans, and a great choice for those compare-and-contrast lessons." (School Library Journal, February 2013, *STARRED REVIEW)

“Baseball may be considered the great American pastime, but the Japanese have embraced the sport with a fervor all their own. This exceptional book marries the two traditions with charming naïf illustration and clear text…. The book’s deceptive simplicity includes sophisticated cultural touches: America’s paper tickets offer a charming contrast to the Japanese scannable QR code version. Meshon’s first picture book is a definite home run. (Kakiiin!)” (The New York Times Book Review, March 10, 2013)

*AN EZRA JACK KEATS NEW ILLUSTRATOR HONOR BOOK* (The Ezra Jack Keats Awards)

More About the Author

Hello Pals,

Thanks so much for visiting my page! I'm really excited to be making children's books, and I hope you'll stop by often to see what I've been working on.

Aaron Meshon Bio:

Aaron lives and works in New York City. His work has been seen throughout the world in hundreds of publications as well as on products such as lunch boxes, t-shirts, puzzles, bags, stationary and books. His first children's book, "Take me out to the Yakyu" was released in February 2013 to 4 starred reviews including The NY Times and School Library Journal. His second book " Tools Rule! will be released in Spring 2014. Aaron's work has been recognized in a number of illustration annuals and juried awards including; Society of Illustrators, 3x3, AltPick, and American Illustration. Someday, Aaron would like to sell his products from a mobile sweet potato truck in rural Japan.

Aaron's website can be found here: www.aaronmeshon.com

THANKS FOR STOPPING BY! -aaron

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 16 customer reviews
My sons love this book.
Naomi Tokisue-Stevens
As I was attracted to the book cover and flip through, I love the simple text with colourful details illustrations.
celia wong
Very clever mix of two cultures and I hope that he does more with a similar theme.
JeNeal M.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Karen Sacks on February 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I just received my copy of "Take Me Out to the Yakyu" and have read it cover to cover relishing the fabulous illustrations as I went. I love how the American baseball references are always in blue and the Japanese are always in red. It is a wonderful book to show how although people from other countries may be different in many ways there are always things that we will have in common. I can't wait to share this book with all my young friends. I ordered two copies but think I'll have to order a few more!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By marley lane on March 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Take Me Out to the Yakyu" is a wonderful book. Beautiful illustrations have so much attention to detail that I find new things every time. The boy has families both in America and Japan and they share their love for baseball. He accepts and enjoys the differences between American and Japanese baseball and cultures. He is showing us that there are many differences in both cultures, and they are both great! This book is especially great for today's world of globalization. Such a heart warming book - it's my new standard!

日本とアメリカ、両方に家族がいる男の子が、おじいちゃんと一緒にそれぞれの街で野球を見に行くお話です。かわいいイラストで、細かいところまで描かれているので、読むたびに新しい発見があります。それぞれの国のプロ野球がどう違うのか、ページをめくるごとに学ぶことができます。男の子は大好きなおじいちゃんと大好きな野球を見に行って、野球のルールの違いを受け入れて楽しんでいます。国際化が進んだ今の時代にはぴったりな本だと思います。心温まるお話とイラストで、私の定番になりそうです。
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on May 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Corner a children's librarian. Say the words "Japan" and "baseball". Ask for picture books that involve both topics. What will you get? If I were a betting woman I'd say that nine out of ten librarians would probably hand you a book about America's Japanese internment camps and the folks in there that played baseball to keep their sanity intact. "Baseball Saved Us" by Ken Mochizuki or "Barbed Wire Baseball" by Marissa Moss come immediately to mind. That tenth librarian might go in a different direction, though. Maybe you made it clear that you wanted something contemporary. Something that involves Japanese baseball today, but is written in a style that would engage both the very young and your older, more sophisticated seven-year-old. Until now, you would have been up a tree. Fortunately for all parties, "Take Me Out to the Yakyu" swoops in to save the day. Visually splendid with a text that manages to be simple without being simplistic, I look at this book and realize that while I've nothing else like it on my library shelves, I'd pay all the money in the world for this format to be replicated over and over again. Until that happy day occurs, let's bask in Meshon's gift to us.

"I love baseball . . . in America . . . and in Japan." The boy telling us this is a ruddy-cheeked cheery little dickens. In his left hand he holds the red jersey of a Japanese team. In his right, the blue of an American. He then leads us through what it's like to attend a baseball game with his American pop pop in the States and his ji ji in Japan. Some differences are small.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By hennebe on May 5, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Take Me Out to the Yakyu is the story of a biracial boy who compares the baseball experience with his grandfathers in America and Japan. In each country the transportation, souvenirs, snacks and even fan behavior surrounding baseball culture are different. However, for baseball fans like the boy and his grandfathers, the excitement and enjoyment are the same, no matter the country.

At the end of the book, there is a bilingual glossary of baseball terms and other fun words, including the Japanese symbol for each. There is also an author’s note giving longer explanations of the history of baseball, game length, baseball fields and mascots in both countries.

An American, Meshon’s insights into Japan come from his Japanese wife, with whom he shares a passion for baseball and has attended ballgames in the United States and Japan. Even though he is not a cultural insider, he does have an authentic editor very near to him! He used side-by-side comparison with analogous illustrations to shares aspects of Japanese life and baseball culture. And since 1/2 of the book represents American baseball, the American side is pretty authentic.

There are two pages where the boy and his grandfather go to buy souvenirs that just cracked me up. If anything, the American side of the page seemed like a negative stereotype here because they are wearing jerseys and fanny packs, and the Japanese side seems a little less "dumpy." (Maybe I am just embarrassed by the idea of fanny packs and grandfathers in shorts and tennis shoes. Call me uppity.)

Based on the abstract I saw before reading this book, I expected a tale focusing on a bicultural boy’s relationship with his two grandfathers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JeNeal M. on January 15, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Perfect for my granddaughter and her father to share! Very clever mix of two cultures and I hope that he does more with a similar theme.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J2014 on October 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I got after we happened upon it at the library. My son enjoyed it as he has a grandpa and and a jiji. I can't wait for my dad to visit and read it to his grandson at bedtime. I know he'll get a huge kick out of it.
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