Children's Books

Author: Aaron Meshon

ISBN: 978-1442441774

Copyright Date: 2013

Rights Retained: Merchandise, Film/Dramatic, Television/Radio

Cover Type: Hard Cover

Price: $15.99

Pages: 40


This debut picture book from Aaron Meshon is a home run—don’t be surprised if the vivid illustrations and energetic text leave you shouting, “LET’S PLAY YAKYU!”


JLG Selection

Books I’m Looking Forward to in 2013 – Betsy Bird

PW, Booklist, Kirkus and SLJ


“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 enthusiasm 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 4 starred review

“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.”

*SLJ Starred Review*

“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 *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 *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! / 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.”

The Horn Book

“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


The Ezra Jack Keats Awards