Even though there is nary a female in Jeff Newman's wordless picture book, The Boys, as a relatively shy individual, boy could I could relate to the experience of the protagonist.
A boy moves the the city, finds himself too shy to join in the kids' ballgame and so instead tries to fit in with the older crowd -- the much older crowd. Fortunately, this gang, although older, is also wiser and helps lead the boy back to kids his own age.
The city here remains in the background and it's easy to forget about it. It also has a rather industrial feel. The city park is the important location -- where groups of individuals gather to engage in common like-minded activities. Newman frequently uses the image of the park bench to convey either loneliness or togetherness at just the right moment. After all, nothing says city park like a long green bench.
When this book came out it received a lot of buzz so check out the Want More? section below for some thorough reviews -- and then check it out from your library.
Read Fuse #8's review. She'll tell you a lot more about the book than I did.
Read an interview with the author and see more illustrations at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast.
Visit the author's picture blog.
Big Kid says: Why is he hanging out with the grandpas?
Little Kid says: They are playing baseball!