Take Me Out to the Yakyu
A Japanese American child loves baseball…in America…and in Japan!
One of my favorite children’s book shops in the world is Books of Wonder. Nestled in the Flatiron District, they have a selection of both big-name and indie children’s books, and I always find something new that has to come home with me. On my most recent visit, I picked up NY illustratror Aaron Meshon’s Take Me Out to the Yakyu, about a Japanese American child who loves baseball and goes to games when visiting his American grandfather and his Japanese ji ji. Our pink-cheeked chap begins by announcing, “I love baseball…in America…and in Japan.” The book is a mirrored story—the left side of the fold is what happens at an American baseball game and the right side is what happens at a Japanese yakyu. The differences and similarities fit seamlessly into the storyline, peppering in both Japanese and American customs for an interesting (and fun!) investigation into cultural differences. For example, Americans shout, “WIN WIN WIN,” whereas Japanese fans shout, “DO THE BEST YOU CAN!”
This book is a home run. Meshon’s cheery and colorful illustrations marry perfectly with the culturally rich storyline and could spark conversations about global customs and understanding.