Take Me Out to the Ballgame: Nick's Very First Day of Baseball by Kevin Christofora
TODAY MOM SIGNED ME UP FOR BASEBALL.
I CAN'T WAIT UNTIL THE FIRST PRACTICE ON FRIDAY.
Nick is psyched! He has baseball on the brain, and even though Dad takes him to pick out the perfect fielder's glove, his head is full of the crack of the bat on the ball and solid sound of the baseball thunking into the glove. He even wears his new glove to play catch-the-cracker with his dog, Yogi, who never misses a throw.
At last the big day comes. Dad and Yogi come along to watch as Nick meets his team and coach. Nick spots some old friends on the team--Carla, Kareem, Lucy, and Larry.
Then the team get their new uniforms--blue caps with red logos and blue shirts with numbers on the back. Coach even writes their names inside each cap and jersey,
The team is suited up, and Nick can't wait to start throwing, catching, and batting. But Coach motions them to form a circle and places his own cap--a white one--in the middle of the circle.
"THE LEADER ALWAYS WEARS A WHITE HAT!" HE SAYS.
"NOW LET'S START WITH JUMPING JACKS!"
Coach leads them through their warm-up routine. Coach teaches them the "rocket" and "pencil" positions for doing jumping jacks. and they are soon shouting enthusiastically along with the warm-up: "Rocket!" "Pencil!" they chant.
There's a lot to learn about paying attention to Coach and following directions. Coach awards baseball cards as prizes for answering review questions from his pep talk. It's fun, and Nick gets a Babe Ruth card.
But Nick looks around. When will they get to play baseball?
Coach closes with the warm-up tradition of running laps around the bases, and Nick is thrilled to get the white cap and lead his team in touching all the bases. He can't wait for the next practice.
Kevin Christofora's Nick's Very First Day of Baseball (Clarens Press, 2015) begins at the beginning with team-building and basic baseball vocabulary, backed up with a short glossary with necessary baseball lingo such as "lefty," "righty," and "home plate." With just the right amount of information for first-time rookies to take in, Christofora's introduction to being a teammate realistically opens with the all-important practice in listening to Coach and working together. There's plenty of game play fun in store for Coach's little rookie Tee-ballers in the upcoming series Hometown All-Stars.
Labels: Baseball Stories (Ages 3-6)