Coach Mike says that baseball players always need to be ready, and Jordan is all set for the first game of the season.
Jordan tells all the details of opening day, from donning his uniform to pregame practice to his exploits on the field, all the while repeating and carefully adhering to the coach’s mantra. The book’s emphasis is on good sportsmanship and the fun of playing a good game. Narrative sentences are short and matter-of-fact with lots of information about the bare-bones basics of the game. Jordan’s concerns about doing well in the field and at bat, his teammates’ thoughts, and dialogue are all placed in word bubbles that add a bit of humor to the proceedings. Words of encouragement are mixed with comments like “I’m hungry,” “Look I’m an airplane,” and other very childlike asides. But there’s plenty of spirit and camaraderie to go around. In this idealized version of suburban Little League, the coach and the parents are universally supportive and cheerful, and everyone is mostly interested in having fun. Torrey’s brightly hued illustrations on white or grassy green backgrounds are filled with cartoony characters who all have the same facial features, but they are given distinctive coloring, hairstyles and accessories that manage to impart a sense of individuality.
An innocent, sweet and charming introduction to the national pastime. (Picture book. 4-8)