Reviews for Take Me Out to the Yakyu

Booklist Reviews 2013 February #2
*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. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall
The lucky boy in this picture book gets to go to ballgames in both the United States and in Japan. Each spread showcases one difference between the locales: hot dog in one place, soba noodles in the other. In the rich-hued acrylic illustrations, team colors (cool blues for America and warm reds for Japan) dominate the pages, helping readers keep track of each location.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2013 #2
Yakyu is Japanese for baseball, and the lucky boy in this picture book gets to go to ballgames in both the United States and in Japan. Left-hand pages show him at the stadium with his American pop pop; on the right-hand pages his Japanese ji ji (ojiichan means grandfather) takes him to a game at the dome. Each spread showcases one difference between the two locales: in America the boy gets a giant foam hand, while in Japan he gets a giant plastic horn; a hot dog and peanuts in one place, soba noodles and edamame in the other; "In America, in the seventh inning, we sing ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game,' and then we stretch! / In Japan...we sing our team's anthem, and then we let balloons go!" In the rich-hued acrylic illustrations, team colors (cool blues for America and warm reds for Japan) dominate the pages, helping young readers keep track of each picture's location. 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. A glossary at the back lists additional Japanese words, and an author's note explains more about baseball in Japan. jennifer m. brabander

Kirkus Reviews 2013 March #1
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) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 November #4

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. Flat, naïf acrylics and simple words report the boy narrator's parallel experiences: "In America, Pop Pop gets me a giant foam hand. In Japan, Ji Ji gets me a giant plastic horn. In America, Pop Pop also gets us hot dogs and peanuts.... In Japan, Ji Ji also gets us soba noodles and edamame." The artwork provides more information (two paper tickets lie on the American food tray, while Ji Ji's cellphone displays electronic tickets). Meshon's spreads make it clear that though material circumstances may differ, human emotions are just the same. "Are we there yet?" shouts a speech balloon spouting out of the boy's station wagon in the American stadium's parking lot. "Yes, we are!" comes the answer from the bus-train arriving at its Japanese counterpart. Making a book that's equal parts affection and edification isn't easy; Meshon's record is one for one. Ages 2-6. (Feb.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2013 February

K-Gr 2--A young boy compares and contrasts the game of baseball as it is played and enjoyed by fans in the United States and in Japan. He has the good fortune of experiencing the action in both countries. "My American pop pop takes me to watch baseball at the stadium./My Japanese ji ji takes me to watch yakyu at the dome." Everything from transportation to and from the ballpark to snacks, souvenirs, and the appropriate cheers is included, as well as differences in the actual play. A glossary of both baseball and "Other Fun Words" is appended, as is an informative author's note outlining other differences. 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.--Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ

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