Kirkus Reviews QR Code
BASEBALL BABY by Diane Adams


From the Sports Baby Book series

by Diane Adams ; illustrated by Charlene Chua

Pub Date: Jan. 12th, 2021
ISBN: 978-0-593-20243-2
Publisher: Viking

A toddler enjoys a family baseball game and explains baseball basics.

The focus of the first-person narrative is the titular tot, a Black child with short hair wearing a pin-striped shirt and blue baseball cap (those who aren’t Yankee fans may not appreciate the look). The other players, all members of the same Black family, include an older, gray-haired “coach,” a pink-clad kid with hair in a topknot Afro puff, a goatee’d grown-up, and a ponytailed adult. Together they play a robust game of what is actually T-ball—a bit easier for the preschool set to emulate. The action includes practice throws, catching fly balls, batting, and even a home run to finish the game. The narrative consists of gentle rhyming verse, slightly forced to accommodate all the baseball vocabulary: “Up it flies. / The outfield chases. / I drop my bat / and run the bases.” Various critters, including a bird, an earthworm, and a bunny, can be seen cheering on the players. The boldly colored cartoon figures stand out well against the softer, more muted landscapes. The outing ends with the little baseball player tucked into bed, still wearing “my lucky hat.”

A simple but action-packed story for the littlest ballplayers.

(Board book. 1-3)