A soccer story—for boy and girls alike—just in time for the World Cup! “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.
This book is a gorgeous and engaging introduction to Creole culture and the world of soccer! It’s fun to have Creole words mixed in with English, and to see that the language of soccer is pretty much the same around the world. This book is also a beautifully illustrated reminder of how beloved the sport is around the world, in diverse places, populations, and situations.
Baptiste Paul grew up in St. Lucia, where he walked up mountain roads barefoot or wearing cracked rubber shoes that burned his feet. His steps eventually led him to earn degrees in environmental and political science from Bucknell University in Pennsylvania. He now lives in Wisconsin, and this is his second book for children. His debut, The Field, was published by NorthSouth books. Visit him online at baptistepaul.com.