Kids’ Baseball Books For Mom’s Day
A college fiction professor of mine was fond of saying that there are really only two stories: someone takes a journey, or a stranger comes to town.
This may explain why I love children’s books. Writing for a younger audience forces authors to strip down narratives to the few essential themes that resonate with all people: be kind to others. Don’t judge on appearances. Always try to learn, try to never hold grudges. Adding to the emotional poignance of these teachings is the fact that we adults seemingly can’t keep them straight ourselves.
When I was working at a local public library, I’d hide and read the kids’ books I was supposed to be shelving. That’s how much a mark I am for the genre. Books aiming at the diaper demographic won’t replace Mody Dick, but quality is quality in my eyes.
Earlier this week, the Wisconsin State Journal listed favorite baseball books for kids. Since Mother’s Day is this weekend, maybe the list will give you an idea for the mom in your life who loves the national pastime, wide-eyed poppets, reading to said youngsters or all of the above.
Two books that I recommend — and just bought for my nieces — have the advantage of regional ties. “Baseball Saved Us” is by Ken Mochizuki, who was raised in Seattle, and you can probably guess what makes “Dear Ichiro” by Jean Davies Okimoto of local interest.
At the same reading level, 4-8 years, are the Journal’s picks: “Luke Goes to Bat” by Rachel Isadora and “Mudball” by Matt Tavares. For a bit older kids, there’s “Roberto Clemente: Pride of the Pittsburgh Pirates” by Jonah Winter (5-10) and “Out Standing in My Field” by Patrick Jennings (8-12). Haven’t read any of these, but wanted to link to them: descriptions are available at the first link.
In Babe Ruth’s farewell to baseball speech, he said this: “You know this baseball game of ours comes up from the youth … [y]ou’ve gotta start from way down [at] the bottom, when you’re six or seven years of age. You can’t wait until you’re fifteen or sixteen. You gotta let it grow up with you.”
It’s the same with reading. Considering how much time I spend devouring things that begin with “http,” I figure anything we can do to bring up the next generation as readers is solid. Buy a baseball book for a mom and kid pair that you care about.