Baseball on Mars/ Beisbol en Marte


A boy and his father bond over a game of catch on the Red Planet

Roberto's dad speaks in Spanish when he gets upset, and boy, is he unhappy today! His lucky chair-the one he sits in to watch his beloved New York Yankees play-is missing. And he needs it for the afternoon game against the Red Sox!

Roberto is excited, too. He's about to take off to Mars on his home-made rocket ship, and his dad's lucky chair ...

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A boy and his father bond over a game of catch on the Red Planet

Roberto's dad speaks in Spanish when he gets upset, and boy, is he unhappy today! His lucky chair-the one he sits in to watch his beloved New York Yankees play-is missing. And he needs it for the afternoon game against the Red Sox!

Roberto is excited, too. He's about to take off to Mars on his home-made rocket ship, and his dad's lucky chair makes a perfect pilot's seat. When his father finds that the missing chair has become part of the rocket ship in the backyard, he grudgingly tells Roberto he can use it-for now. But it needs to be returned before game time.

Roberto's dad is skeptical about the rocket ship. "You might have a problem getting off the ground," he says. "You're forgetting one little thing-you don't have an engine!" Soon, he finds himself invited along as co-pilot. And during the exciting flight to Mars, Roberto helps his father rediscover his imagination as they experience an amazing blastoff, wayward asteroids, and even weightlessness.

When they finally land, Roberto surprises his father with two baseball gloves and a ball. "Today's baseball game is on Mars," he tells his dad. After spending the day playing catch, father and son realize that they speak the same language on the Red Planet. And his dad doesn't even mind that he missed the Yankees' game!

Children ages 4-8 will want to embark on their own mission to Mars after reading this story that combines vibrant illustrations with a touching story about a father and son's afternoon adventure.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Mandy Cruz
One Saturday afternoon Dad gets ready to sit in his lucky chair and watch the Yankees game, as is his custom, only to find the chair missing. He immediately yells for his son Roberto and finds him and the chair in the back yard. Roberto swiped the chair to furnish his rocket ship explaining to Dad that astronauts need to be seated for takeoff. Dad agrees to let Roberto use the captain's chair as long as it is returned in time for the game. Roberto invites Dad along for the ride and they quickly take off on their adventure. Look, Dad, there's a meteor! (Dad thinks it is a pigeon.) Once on Mars Roberto tosses Dad a ball, and to Roberto's surprise his dad can run and catch it. They return to Earth only when Mom tells them it is time for dinner. Dad does not even mention the missed ball game. Initially this book seems simplistic, but that is exactly what makes the story so compelling. It is a delightful reflection on the simple pleasures of make-believe play, one that can be appreciated by parents as well as children. This straightforward story with identifiable characters and classic drawings make readers crave another look into the life of this fun and imaginative family. Reviewer: Mandy Cruz
School Library Journal
PrsS-Gr 3–A bilingual story of a Bronx-based Latino family and a father’s reluctant engagement with his son’s extraordinary imagination. The book realistically portrays a boy piecing together a spaceship from a wooden barrel and other household objects. Roberto’s father is anything but impressed and is displeased to see his favorite chair–the one about to be commissioned for viewing the Yankees v. Red Sox game–usurped by his son for his haphazard journey. Nevertheless, with his mom’s encouragement, his dad agrees to accompany the boy on his engineless trek. Through it all, readers learn how a simple game of catch between father and son can become an event of cosmic proportions. Here, it is the father who “comes of age,” learning the value and enjoyment of time spent with his son. Rodriguez’s color illustrations add flavor and dimension to this family’s newfound love of the game and their growing appreciation of one another. A satisfying read-aloud in either English or Spanish.–Michael Shapiro, WebJunction/OCLC, Dublin, OH
Kirkus Reviews
Roberto's imaginary space trip to Mars requires the somewhat reluctantly granted use of his father's favorite chair for TV baseball viewing. When co-pilot father and son "take off" for worlds unknown, the wondrous experience of flying asteroids, weightlessness and a TV-less Red Planet encourages a game of catch between parent and child, bringing the reality of a loving relationship back to Earth. Despite the missed Yankees-Red Sox game that afternoon, father and son are eager to continue a new Saturday tradition of playing catch in the backyard and "on Mars." Reminiscent of Ezra Jack Keats's Regards to the Man in the Moon (1981), this Spanish bilingual family story is complete with a makeshift spaceship from odds and ends, an eager astronaut with a fanciful adventurous spirit and Rodriguez's deeply colored, realistic paintings that juxtapose the actual backyard play with the whimsy of a planetary voyage. The subtle message of the importance of a parent's role in a child's creative play blends seamlessly with the simpler theme of a son's love for his father in a traditionally American setting. (Picture book. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558855212
  • Publisher: Arte Publico Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2009
  • Language: Spanish
  • Edition description: Bilingual
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 707,722
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.20 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 0.30 (d)

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