About The Books:
Sometimes, when we think about little league sports, the first thing that comes to mind are pushy coaches and over-competitive parents. However, there are many positive character qualities that children can develop while playing team sports. Kathryn Nixon and Ana Boudreau help to instill these virtues in their two books, The Spirit in Baseball and The Spirit in Football. Their books are based on the fruits of the Spirit as seen in Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
The Spirit in Baseball applies the fruits of the Spirit to each aspect of playing the game of baseball, such as:
I LOVE my teammates. They are my friends. We spend a lot of time in the dugout together!
I am PATIENT and happy to wait until it is my turn to bat.
I do my best to be GOOD to others. I congratulate the other team if they win the game.
Each of the fruits is introduced by a Scripture verse, followed by the application. The colorful illustrations will draw in young readers, and a tiny fruit has been hidden on every page for the children to seek out. The book also includes words of encouragement from Kathryn’s husband, Trot Nixon, a 2004 Boston Red Sox World Series champion. The Spanish translation, El Espiritu en Beisbol, is also available.
The Spirit in Football focuses on the same virtues and format, but applies the fruits of the Spirit to football. Some examples include:
The fans cheered with excitement and JOY as our team scored the first touchdown of the game.
If we are upset about a penalty, instead of acting out in anger, God calls us to react with GENTLENESS and respect.
We must show SELF-CONTROL by not losing our temper when we are tackled aggressively by the other team.
The Spirit in Football includes a forward by Matt Hasselbeck, NFL quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, encouraging children that “drive and competitiveness should never come before obeying the rules and being a good sport.”
Both books are great gifts for little league teams or any child who participates in sports. The books include a page for autographs, so parents can buy a copy for every team member and the children can sign each other’s books as a keepsake for years to come. The Spirit in Baseball and The Spirit in Football provide a practical way for any parent or coach to apply the fruits of the Spirit in the everyday lives of their children.
About The Author and Illustrator:
Kathryn Nixon was born in the small town of Rockingham, NC. She grew up involved in many sports including cheerleading, cross country and dance. After graduating high school, she attended Peace College and North Carolina State University where she received her BA with a major in communications and a minor in journalism. She went on to work as an associate producer for ESPN.
She met Trot Nixon when one of the coaches who recruited him to play baseball at NC State introduced them. They were married, and he was drafted by the Red Sox, where he became a 2004 World Series champion. While her husband was playing ball, Kathryn collaborated with the other wives on two children’s books: Fenway Park from A to Z and Fenway Park 1 2 3.
Her greatest desire is to touch the lives of children with the knowledge and experience of Christ’s love. Her passion is to gather children into the kingdom of God by planting His word in their hearts at an early age. Nixon and her husband, Trot, reside in Wilmington, NC, with their two sons, Chase and Luke.
Ana Boudreau was born in Williamsburg, VA, and grew up with the dream of being an artist and an illustrator. Her grandmother was a professional artist, and she passed down all of her supplies to her granddaughter. She was also involved in cheerleading and gymnastics as a girl, helping her further connect to the Spirit in Sports series.
Boudreau attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and graduated with a BA in English literature. She met Kathryn Nixon when she was commissioned to paint murals in the preschool department of Nixon’s church. They struck up a friendship and began meeting to plan a series of books that would attract young children involved in sports. Boudreau treasured the opportunity to co-author children’s books that had the power to instill God’s values in the day-to-day lives of families, including her own.
Boudreau is an artist, muralist and an art teacher at Myrtle Grove Christian School. She has illustrated both The Spirit in Baseball and The Spirit in Football, along with a third book, How Bernie Madoff Saved My Life by Valorie Stackpole. She is married to Mark Boudreau, and they are blessed with three wonderfully athletic girls—Lauren is a cheerleader, Julia is a skater and Katherine is a tennis player. She and her family reside in Wilmington, NC.
Visit the author and illustrator's website
Both The Spirit in Baseball and The Spirit in Football are the perfect addition to any family's library. These books by Kathryn Nixon and Lauren Boudreau are delightful! Written in very easy to read prose and with fun illustrations that any young fan of sports will enjoy, these books are the perfect gift for any child between the ages of three and 11, particularly little boys. Even my girls (ages 4.5 and 3 years) really enjoyed them. With American symbols of patriotism throughout each book, it is clear that the books are targeted towards American children, but they are also great for children around the world.
They will not only learn about baseball and football but they will learn how the Fruits of the Spirit relate to these sports, and how they can apply them to their lives.
I highly recommend both The Spirit of Baseball and The Spirit of Football and give them a thumbs up!
BUY IT: You can purchase The Spirit of Baseball and The Spirit of Football on Amazon.
***I received a complimentary copy of both the above books, courtesy of The B and B Media Group, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***