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The field
2018
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Author Notes
Baptiste Paul is a man of many talents--from woodworking to gardening to entertaining hordes of children for hours on end. Born and raised in the West Indies (St. Lucia), Baptiste is a native Creole/Patois speaker and enjoys roasting his own coffee and chocolate as well as eating anything he can cook on a grill. Baptiste holds degrees in environmental studies and political science from Bucknell University and currently resides with his family near a wildlife sanctuary in Green Bay, Wisconsin. This is his first picture book for NorthSouth Books.<br> <br> Jacqueline Alcántara is a freelance author and illustrator. She spends her days drawing, painting, writing and walking her dog. Jacqueline studied art education, attended a summer intensive at Parson's New School of Design, and went on to enroll in the Illustration Certificate program at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago. She has managed an art gallery in Chicago, worked at NBC's set decoration department, and at Soho House Chicago. She is particularly excited about promoting inclusiveness and diversity in children's literature and the illustration field in general. In 2016, she won the inaugural We Need Diverse Books Illustrator Mentorship Award. Find out more at: jacquelinealcantara.com
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Trade Reviews

  Publishers Weekly Review

A boisterous and unfettered love of futbol is at the heart of this energetic picture book from debut talents Paul and Alcántara, set on an unspecified Caribbean island. Alcantara's kinetic illustrations reflect the joy and camaraderie that the game brings to the young players: two twins walk in lock-step to set up a goal made from bamboo shoots, the children are forced to clear the field of cows before the game can begin, and players slip and slide dramatically as a storm sets in. Paul's punchy, declarative text clearly communicates that the players won't be hindered by stubborn livestock, downpours, slippery mud, or beckoning mamas; they overcome each obstacle together, as a team. Paul moves casually between English and Creole; definitions are included, but the meanings are generally spelled out ("Ou byen? You okay? Mwen byen. I'm good"). The children's elongated, exaggerated movements create an almost constant sense of motion in Alcántara's vividly colored paintings, and their enthusiasm for futbol is infectious. Ages 4-8. Author's agent: Karen Grencik, Red Fox Literary. Illustrator's agent: Adriana Dominguez, Full Circle Literary. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

  School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-An open field in a lush Caribbean setting calls to a group of children. They chase away grazing animals, bring out the soccer ball and goals, and begin a spirited game of soccer. Rain and a muddy, slippery field cannot stop their game; only the repeated calls from the mamas and a setting sun can. Dirty but satisfied, the children return home for baths and bed, knowing that the field will call again for another rousing game. Illustrations in deep, saturated colors with energetic lines accompany a spare but rhythmic English text, sprinkled with Creole. The narrative and images evoke the islands and the joy of playing a game regardless of weather. In a concluding note, Paul recalls his native Saint Lucia where, he explains, Creole is spoken but is rarely written down. A brief glossary is included, though most of the words will be understandable in context and in the animated paintings. -VERDICT This engaging book is sure to resonate with children who are passionate about soccer and even those who simply enjoy lively play.-Maria B. Salvadore, formerly at District of Columbia Public Library © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Vini! Come! And enjoy this beautiful picture book about a group of friends having fun playing futbol. Children will have a blast following the characters as they run and play through a green field, taking off their socks to enjoy the mud when it starts to rain. The excitement of the game overflows from the pages and the children, from the beautiful greenery that surrounds them and the brightness of their clothing, to the dynamic movement in Alcántara's artwork. Young readers will have fun both following the game and reading and learning the different Creole phrases the friends say as they play to win. The vibrant illustrations are vividly detailed, featuring animals watching the game nearby, houses in the background, the encroaching red sunset signaling that the end of the game is fast approaching, and of course the cheerfully mud-splattered kids. Staccato phrases match the high energy of the impromptu game, and an accompanying glossary provides definitions for words used throughout the book. An author's note provides background on Paul's own experiences growing up in Saint Lucia. A wonderful depiction of a joyful pastime that so many love to play all over the world, and a reminder of some of the ways we are more alike than different.--Paz, Selenia Copyright 2018 Booklist

  Horn Book Review

The place: a verdant Caribbean islandscape. The days activity for the communitys children: a pickup game of futbol (soccer). Does it matter that the futbol field is a converted cow pasture? Does it matter that some of the players arent wearing shoes? Does it matter that, mid-game, it starts to pour? No way, as the text emphatically answers. Children everywhere will relate to the participants devotion to and love of the worlds most popular sport, as they play on despite slipping, sliding, and falling in the mud (belly flop!Ou byen? You okay? Mwen byen. Im good). Pauls universal story is made particular by the specificity of his setting and language (a glossary of Creole words and phrases is appended). The staccato text (Im open! Pass! Shoot! Almost) perfectly captures the intensity and forward propulsion of the action, culminating in an ecstatic cry of GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! as the sun comes out. Vibrant illustrations, full of movement and saturated with color, match the vigor and excitement of the text. The day winds down with the children heading home to their impatient mamas, baths, and bedhappy to say Bonsw. Good night in the knowledge that the game isnt finished, only paused. An appended note describes the authors childhood in Saint Lucia; the challenges faced by children such as those in the story; the Creole language; and his continuing love for the beautiful game. martha v. Parravano (c) Copyright 2018. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Kirkus Review

Gather around for a boisterous game of futbol in Paul and Alcntara's excellent picture-book debut.To begin, the players assemble. With a ball at the ready, one young player calls on otherschildren, and even adultsto join in. Readers see a diverse cast of mostly dark-skinned characters often gendered in implicit ways. Everyone heads on over to the field, where each player warms up. As the group splits into teams of "friends versus friends," one brave player shoos away the grazing cows. The game then begins. Basing the narrative on his experiences growing up in Saint Lucia, Paul weaves in italicized Creole phrases and words alongside their English counterparts in such a way that the text bursts with infectious joy. "Isi!" shouts a player, while another player cries "This way!" But suddenly, clouds block the sun and rain falls. "Fini? Game over?" Of course not. The friendly scuffle continues on the muddy field, through every splash, slide, and flop. Colorful and dynamic, Alcntara's pictures depict an island community in lush shades of green and blue dotted with houses of bright red and orange; in one series of striking illustrations, the players' vibrant clothing contrasts against muddied backgrounds. Watch the sun appear again when one player scores a "GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL!" It's a triumphant, earned moment that lingers even as the story reaches its suitably subdued coda.Irresistible fun. (author's note, bibliography, glossary) (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Summary
A soccer story--for boy and girls alike--just in time for the World Cup!<br> <br> " 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.<br> <br> "Friends versus friends" teams are formed, the field is cleared of cows, and the game begins! But will a tropical rainstorm threaten their plans?<br> <br> 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.<br> <br> Soccer fan or not, the call of The Field is irresistible.
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