By Matt Tavares
Candlewick Press, $15.99, 32 pages
Zachary’s father takes him to a baseball game at Fenway Park, home of his favorite team, the Boston Red Sox. Being in the park is a dream come true. Everything seems so close, and Buck Spoonwell is the first up. Everyone is cheering for a home run, but Spoonwell pops the ball up and everyone groans. A sure out! But then the wind kicks up and sends the ball over the seats, right where Zachary and his father are sitting. When his father catches the ball and gives it to Zachary, something magical happens: Zachary is in the game, not watching the game. He has great adventures before he finds himself back at the game with his father. He keeps the ball in his room, even taking it to bed, until one day long after, he cannot find the ball. Every summer, he goes to games, hoping to catch another ball.
“All of a sudden, I was no longer sitting with my father. I was standing on the pitcher’s mound, dressed in a Red Sox uniform.”
The real strength of this old-fashioned picture book is the wonderfully detailed black-and-white drawings. Filled with nostalgia, the book may appeal more to the parents and grandparents who will buy it than the children who will read it.
Reviewed by Rosi Hollinbeck