By: Carol Nevius
Illustrated by: Bill Thomson
Publisher: Two Lions
Publication Date: February 2011
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: October 2013
A couple of soccer balls tumbled from the carry net as if they were anxious to play with the kids. Everyone began to arrive on the field for soccer hour, ball tucked under one arm and a drink grasped in one hand. It was time for those drills. First came the stretches, and then a bit of warm up and then “We toss the ball up in the air / and juggle it to keep it there. / We try to bounce in a steady beat / with heads and thighs as well as feet.” The soccer hour has begun. Some call the game soccer while others call it futbol, but all agree it’s fun.
There are hurdles to jump, weaving around cones, footwork, “fake-out moves and rainbow kicks.” Practice makes perfect, but the scrimmage will show which team is the best. “Our keeper charges, yells commands, / lunges, grabs the ball with hands. / We’re running backward, spreading out. / I hear my name as the goalie shouts.” A boy is working the ball, but there’s an open teammate. It’s now his turn to head to that goal. Bang! The ball and his head meet for just a second, but will he make that goal?
This is a fun, action-packed tale of a practice “soccer hour” young players will love. The sepia-toned, realistic photo-like illustrations spring to life in this book. The artwork is so realistic, the reader can almost count the pores in some of the players. The excitement of the game is readily captured as the team works through their practice drills in this story in rhyme. This is not a book to learn how to play soccer, nor improve one’s skills, but rather a short tale for the young soccer enthusiast to enjoy. No doubt about it, Carol Nevius has another winner on her hands!
Quill says: This tale, a story in rhyme, will excite the young soccer aficionado and wow them with the mesmerizing artwork!