Mariano’s First Glove/El primer guante de Mariano

Arte Público/Piñata. Oct. 2023. 32p. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781558859838. BL.
Gr 1-3–An inspirational picture book biography sharing the story of Mariano Rivera, former baseball pitcher for the New York Yankees. Casilla begins with Rivera’s youth in Panamá and how he and his friends crafted baseball equipment from materials like cardboard and rocks until Rivera’s father gives him a real baseball glove and ball. After working as a fisherman with his father, Rivera joins a baseball team, where he is spotted by a scout, finally heading to the United States to play baseball professionally. This story of Rivera’s love and dedication to baseball also shares his success as a pitcher for the New York Yankees. The realistic illustrations depict not only his life but the many hours he spent practicing; the bilingual English and Spanish text provide interesting and inspiring details about his life.
VERDICT An excellent picture book biography, sure to encourage children to work hard to follow their dreams.

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