In this gently told picture book, a little boy enjoys his first day of baseball practice.
Nick already loves baseball when his mother signs him up for a local team. His bedroom is decorated in baseball décor, his dreams feature hot-air balloons that look like baseballs, and he practices his pitch by tossing snacks at his dog. When he actually attends his first practice, it lives up to all his dreams. He learns new exercises, makes new friends, and has a friendly, team-oriented coach.
An extremely positive book, Nick’s Very First Day of Baseball doesn’t feature any central obstacle to overcome or puzzle to solve. Rather, it simply takes children through Nick’s first day on a baseball team, serving as gentle reassurance that such an experience is non-threatening and fun.
In addition to the actions of the coach and boys on the team, the story features a mascot who asks questions and provides “hints” about baseball throughout the book. Though some of these tips are useful, many of them seem overly obvious (“you use a glove to catch balls”) or adult-centric (“Coach gathers all the kids on the grass behind the pitcher’s mound, so they don’t play in the dirt”). Toward the end of the book, children are asked ten baseball-related questions, including “If you run all the bases, how many do you touch?” and “What do we use a glove for?”
Stylistically, the blocky, colorful illustrations feel a bit dated. And although Nick’s enthusiasm is enough to draw readers along the first time, a lack of stakes may make subsequent reads less interesting. Nonetheless, Nick’s Very First Day of Baseball is an effective way to excite kids about athletic play, providing an accessible, easy-to-follow introduction to the sport.
Also available in ebook.