Baptiste Paul, Jacqueline Alcántara
(NorthSouth Books, March 6, 2018)
Kirkus Reviews Best Picture Book of 2018 School Library Journal Best Book of 2018 The Horn Book Best Picture Book of 2018 Shelf Awareness Best Children's Book of the Year Bank Street Best Children's Book of the YearA soccer story—for boy and girls alike! “Vini! Come! The field calls!” cries a girl as she and her younger brother rouse their community—family, friends, and the local fruit vendor—for a pickup soccer (futbol) game. Boys and girls, young and old, players and spectators come running—bearing balls, shoes, goals, and a love of the sport. “Friends versus friends” teams are formed, the field is cleared of cows, and the game begins! But will a tropical rainstorm threaten their plans? The world’s most popular and inclusive sport has found its spirited, poetic, and authentic voice in Baptiste Paul’s debut picture book—highlighting the joys of the game along with its universal themes: teamwork, leadership, diversity, and acceptance. Creole words (as spoken in St. Lucia, the author’s birthplace island in the Caribbean) add spice to the story and are a strong reminder of the sport’s world fame. Bright and brilliant illustrations by debut children’s book illustrator Jacqueline Alcántara—winner of the We Need Diverse Books Illustration Mentorship Award—capture the grit and glory of the game and the beauty of the island setting where this particular field was inspired. Soccer fan or not, the call of The Field is irresistible.