*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
“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!
”) 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