Monday, June 4, 2012

Zachary's Ball by Matt Tavares

I know adults who are rabid Boston Red Sox fans. Every time I see the "B" on their ball caps, perched just so on their heads, a little smile creeps into my mind. Such dedicated sweetness.

As a kid, I liked baseball. I would do almost anything physical, so if someone wanted to throw the ball with me, usually I would. Even if it was my brother who threw about ten times harder than me and made it a point to burn a hole in my glove with his blasting throws. That smack of ball on leather and resulting "oooowww!" makes me laugh now, but not then. I think I might have loved baseball more if there were a stadium like Fenway nearby and if I had a family member who loved baseball and took me to games. This story by Matt Tavares focuses on the "magic" of baseball, and in particular on the magic of the balls from games like those played by the Red Sox.

A young boy sees his first ball game with his dad. His dad just happens to catch a foul ball and hands it lovingly to his son. The boy's mind takes him into playing on the field as he holds that sweet leather ball, and he decides it magic. The story takes the reader into that magic in sweet story and rich black-and-white illustrations. I really liked the rhythm of this book, and I can imagine reading it to all sorts of young readers who are interested in sports and the magic the world of movement can offer us. Zachary's Ball: it's a keeper!

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