BooksForKidsBlog

Monday, February 28, 2022

It's How You Play The Game! The Thing Lenny Loves Most About Baseball by Aaron Larsen

IT'S SPRINGTIME IN THE PARK.

"ONE DAY I'M GOING TO PLAY IN THE BIG LEAGUES," SAYS LENNY, THROWING THE BASEBALL.

"I'LL BE THERE CHEERING FOR YOU," SAYS HIS DAD, CATCHING IT."

Lenny likes to read up on baseball. That night he tells his dad about a game that lasted for two days.

"IT COULD HAVE GONE ON FOREVER," SAYS LENNY. "I LOVE THAT ABOUT BASEBALL."

In the first game, Lenny gets under a hit to the outfield. He runs back and forth, trying to find exactly where it will fall. But the ball drops to the grass right beside him. Lenny is embarrassed to be afraid of the ball. But he keeps studying about the game, and he's consoled when he reads that home-run heroes Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron had many more strikes than hits out of the park.

"I LIKE THAT ABOUT BASEBALL." HE SAYS.

Lenny tries playing catch in his Greek warrior helmet for protection from the ball, but it doesn't help. Lenny tells himself he's going to miss more than he catches, and he's right. But he keeps on practicing and he keeps on getting better. He tries to remember the old adage to "keep your eye on the ball."

And at the next game, with the score tied in the last inning, there's a hit to the outfield. Lenny goes deep, deep, and when the ball comes down, he's there....

THWAP!

It drops right into his waiting glove!

And when the girl who's up to bat first in the next inning hits it out of the park, Lenny remembers the old saying, "You win some. You lose some."

And the old adage is right: it's not whether you win or lose. It's how you play the game, in Andrew Lewis' latest, The Thing Lenny Loves Most About Baseball,(Kids Can Press, 2021).

It's true that "You can't win 'em all," but you can improve your game and enjoy the gameplay, as Dad models and Lenny learns in this story of the right way to play summer league baseball. You can't always win and you won't always be the star, but Lenny's jolly red-bearded dad teaches his son how to play a team sport for the fun of it--just in time to get ready for the start of the spring baseball season.

Says Kirkus Reviews, "... A good counter to the insistent, invidious message that winning is all that matters."

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