Andrew Larsen evokes the eternal hope and joy of all true baseball fans — along with their love of facts — in this heartwarming story about a baseball-loving boy who doesn’t give up.Lenny can’t get enough of baseball. He loves to play. And he loves to pore over his Big Book of Baseball Facts. He wants to be in the big leagues someday, and, he figures, the more he knows, the better his chances. The only thing is, though he tries to keep his eye on the ball as it heads his way during a game, it somehow ends up by his feet. “You just need to practice,” his dad tells him. So they practice. And practice. Lenny doesn’t give up. And it pays off. Lenny makes a game-changing catch! Now he’s proven he can be great some of the time. Which, according to the facts, makes him just like the greatest Hall of Famers, right?In this endearing picture book, bestselling author Andrew Larsen celebrates the love of both the game of baseball and its countless facts — which for many fans go hand in hand. It offers a strong character-building portrait of perseverance and patience at work in skill development. It also underscores the importance of letting go of the idea of perfection. With energy and emotion in equal parts, Milan Pavlović’s illustrations capture Lenny’s (and baseball’s) highs and lows, and his loving supportive relationship with his father.
I read this with my 7-year-old who is currently obsessed with baseball. Here are our thoughts:
7-year-old: I really enjoyed this book. I would give it a 4 or a 5 because it’s about baseball and I love baseball. My favorite parts where when they were playing baseball on the baseball field. I think Lenny must have been frustrated in some parts like when he missed the ball or it went over the fence.
me: This is such a cute and sweet book! And it has a great message. No matter whether you’re a baseball great or just starting out, sometimes you’ll miss the catch or strike out, and sometimes you’ll catch the ball or hit a home run. No one is perfect and to get better, you just have to keep practicing. These messages were also cleverly told through a story in a way that felt organic — not like when a book really hits you over the head with the message. The story was easy to get caught up in and the main character very relatable.
The illustrations were also clear and made it easy to follow the story. The images and moments chosen to illustrate the story were perfect and definitely added to the overall delivery.
My 7-year-old has asked to read this many times since we first read it. It’s definitely a hit with them.
*Thanks to NetGalley and Kids Can Press for providing an e-arc for review.