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TAKE ME OUT TO THE YAKYU by Aaron Meshon Kirkus Star


by Aaron Meshon ; illustrated by Aaron Meshon

Age Range: 3 - 8

Pub Date: Feb. 19th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4424-4177-4
Publisher: Atheneum

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. While in America, Pop-Pop drives him to the stadium in the station wagon and buys him a foam hand and hot dogs. In Japan, Ji Ji takes him to the dome in a bus-train and buys a plastic horn and soba noodles. At the games they variously cheer “get a hit” or “do your best.” Seventh-inning stretch calls for “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” or the team anthem and a release of balloons. In America, his team wins, but in Japan, it ends in a tie, allowable within their rules. Appropriate souvenirs are purchased, and after a wonderful day, Gramma or Ba Ba has a warm bath ready. The comparisons are made mostly on facing pages with matching sentences and illustrations rendered in strong, bright acrylic paint. American scenes have mostly blue backgrounds or highlights, while the Japanese counterparts are red. 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. (Picture book. 3-8)