Nevius, Carol. 2008. Baseball Hour. Ill. by Bill Thomson. Tarrytown, NY: Marshall Cavendish.
As a baseball fan, I am always interested in books for children about baseball. Because baseball is a sport for older children, most books do not resonate at the the toddler level. This book, however, stays true to the spirit of baseball yet speaks to younger children.
The text is simple and rhyming, following a multicultural group of children through an hour of baseball practice, "We sit to stretch, our legs in V's, bend our heads down to our knees. We circle arms and twist our backs, count and count off jumping jacks." I particularly like the story's end, as all the team members stand in a circle, arms in spoke formation, hands atop each other's hands in a typical show of teamwork.
Thomson's mixed media, double-spread illustrations are evocative of photography, showing detail is every earnest face, well-worn bat, or leather glove. All of the illustrations are sepia-toned, with the exception of the brilliant white and red-stitched baseball that appears in many of the illustrations.
A great introduction to the joy of playing baseball. I can envision this as a great storytime book; complete with warm-up excercises!