The Field

Sports fan Baptiste Paul joins forces with Jacqueline Alcántara for this lively picture book debut.

A boy in Saint Lucia dribbles a soccer ball up to two friends: "Vini! Come! The field calls!" He moves around town, inviting one and all to come play futbol. Two children stride across an open field carrying a handmade goal, while a cow grazes nearby. On the next spread, one brave child shoos away the doe-eyed cow as more people arrive to play. The colors pop off the page--lush greens, vibrant reds and yellows, sparkling blue water in the background--as teams are chosen. "Annou ale! Let's go!" A boisterous game begins, the figures' edges blurring with their speed. The next full-page spread depicts the boy in mid-stride, looking over his shoulder as the sky grays behind him: "Uh-oh." The bold colors of Paul's native Saint Lucia dim as driving rain slants across the page. "Fini? Game over?"

"No way. Play on!"

Paul and Alcántara's picture book is full of joy and finishes with an author's note and a glossary of all the Creole words sprinkled throughout. The Field, with its concise and energetic text and dynamic illustrations, is irresistible, unfettered fun. --Siân Gaetano, children's and YA editor, Shelf Awareness

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