CM . . . . Volume XVII Number 8. . . .October 22, 2010.
Brady Brady and the Missed Hatrick.
Mary Shaw. Illustrated by Chuck Temple.
Waterloo, ON: Brady Brady Inc. (www.bradybrady.com), 2010.
32 pp., pbk., $6.99.
Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 4-7.
Review by Dave Jenkinson.
The snowplow roared past Brady's house. "Hooray! He shouted. "Our street is plowed. Come on, Hatrick."
Brady bundled up in his warm clothes and headed to the shed to get his hockey stick.
"Whoa there, Brady Brady," his mom said, taking the hockey stick out of Brady's hand and trading it in for a shovel. "The driveway needs to be cleared before your dad gets home."
"Aw, Mom," Brady groaned. The plow had left a huge heap of snow at the end of the driveway.
Hockey fans will know that a hat trick is a hockey term indicating that a player has scored three goals during a single hockey game. However, Brady Brady fans will recognize that the title's spelling refers to Brady's loyal dog, Hatrick. And Brady Brady aficionados also know that the young lad will play hockey anytime, anywhere, with or without ice and skates. Consequently, when Brady sees that the snowplow's passing has made a game of road hockey possible, he's off to get his stick until he is intercepted by his mother who points out that the pile of snow which was left by the plow is now blocking the driveway and needs to be cleared before Brady's father gets home from work. About halfway through his shovelling task, Brady sees two of his friends carrying a hockey net, and, at their invitation to join their game, he abandons his shovelling. When Brady's dad arrives home, he gets stuck in the remaining unshovelled snow. He becomes further upset with Brady when he trips over Brady's carelessly discarded hockey bag and then discovers that it still contains yesterday's sweat-soaked equipment.
"Brady's parents were upset that he was always rushing off to play instead of doing what he was supposed to be doing. They sent him to his room." Looking out his window, Brady sees that the street hockey game is still going on, and he comes up with an idea that will get him out of his room and the house - he volunteers to take Hatrick for a walk. However, once Brady arrives at the spot where the game is being played, he ties Hatrick to a lamppost and joins in the game. When it gets dark, Brady runs home for supper, and it is only when Brady is eating that he realizes he has left Hatrick behind. After Brady confesses what he has done, he and his mother go out to retrieve Hatrick, but all they find is the dog's leash and collar. While Brady and his mother walk the neighbourhood calling out Hatrick's name, Brady's father and sister drive around the community, but neither pairing is successful in finding the missing dog, and Brady experiences a restless night. The next morning, "Hatrick was still missing," and Brady's dad suggests that they go to the local animal shelter to see if anyone may have deposited Hatrick there. Brady's initial happiness at finding his dog in a cage at the animal shelter is tempered by his learning that there will be a fee to have Hatrick released.
Brady's heart sank. He didn't have any money.
"I guess you'll be shoveling a lot of snow to earn that money," his father told him. I'll lend it to you, but you'll have to repay me." He reached for his wallet. "I think it's the best way to teach you about responsibility.
And so Brady Brady and Hatrick are reunited, and the book ends happily. And yes, Brady does keep his promise to pay his dad back via snow shovelling.
While this edition of the Brady Brady series contains less sports action than is found in most of Shaw's other books, she remains nondidactically true to capturing youngsters' behaviours and those moments of real emotional concern that they can experience. The homonym in the title, coupled with Temple's cover illustration, is a nice bit of misdirection. As has been the case in all of the books, Temple's illustrations accurately reflect the characters' emotions and contain additional details that youngsters can "read" on their own after the text has been read to them.
Dave Jenkinson,CM's editor, lives in Winnipeg, MB.
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