The Field                                                          

Author: Baptiste Paul

Illustrator: Jacqueline Alcántara

North South Books    |    For Ages: 4 - 8    |    ISBN 9780735843127







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.

Gather around for a boisterous game of futbol in Paul and Alcántara’s excellent picture-book debut.To begin, the players assemble...Paul weaves in italicized Creole phrases and words alongside their English counterparts in such a way that the text bursts with infectious joy...Colorful and dynamic, Alcántara’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.
— Kirkus (Starred Review)


  • Feb 24th: Andersons Kid Lit Breakfast
  • March 14th: Anderson's Bookstore In-Store Event
  • March 15th: Book Stall In-Store Event
  • April TBD: Texas Library Association Conference
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  • June TBD: ALA Conference, New Orleans
  • June TBD: Riverside Public Library
  • June TBD: Printers Row Lit Fest


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 illlustrations 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 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 the 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. — Starred Review, Booklist