Booklist (February 1, 2015 (Vol. 111, No. 11))
Grades 2-4. Tavares’ latest baseball profile, featuring Pedro Martínez, is as much an homage to the love between brothers as it is a biography. Watching his older brother, Ramón, pitch in their village of Manoguayabo, in the Dominican Republic, is just the beginning of young Pedro’s admiration. As Ramón teaches him how to throw rocks at the mangos in the trees—but only the ripe ones—and starts training with the Dodgers’ Dominican baseball academy, Pedro follows every bit of his big brother’s advice. In time, Pedro catches the attention of the Dodger scouts himself, but he almost misses the opportunity because of his smaller stature. Expressive watercolor-and-gouache illustrations help depict the next two decades, as Pedro first joins Ramón in the major leagues and then is traded to the Expos, where he finally stands out as a starting pitcher in his own right. Despite the awards and accolades over the years, Pedro never loses sight of his humble background or gratitude for his brother’s talent and teaching. Concluding stats top off this winning title.