summertime book of the week…can you say baseball in Japanese?

take me out to the yakyu cover imageTake Me Out to the Yakyu, written and illustrated by Aaron Meshon

What can be as all-American as baseball, right?

As you may know, though, baseball is one of the most popular sports in Japan.

In this dyamic book by Aaron Meshon, who apparently spends a great deal of time in both these places, we meet a young baseball fan who loves watching the game on either side of the world.take me out to the yakyu illustration2 aaron meshon

We get to accompany him to two baseball games — one in America, and one in Japan. Each two-page spread shows us the same activity — choosing his favorite team jersey, driving to the game, buying snacks, cheering — the way he experiences it in the U.S. on the one hand, and the way it looks in Japan on the other. It’s a fascinating comparison.

How do we get to the stadium?
What will we buy from the food vendors?
What sound does a bat make in Japan?
What takes place during the seventh-inning stretch?
When we go home after the game, what does the house look like?

take me out to the yakyu illustration aaron meshonWith very few words, and bold, acrylic designs, Meshon introduces us to many intriguing differences in the one pastime among two cultures.

The pages are vibrant,  full of energy, awash in bright color and clean lines. A few Japanese words are included in the text, so there is a nice glossary of terms. An interesting Author’s Note tells more about the history of baseball in each country, differences in game length, stadiums, and mascots.

It’s a fast, smart, book for ages 4 and up, and of course especially suited to baseball fans!

Here’s the Amazon link:
Take Me Out to the Yakyu