The Moccasin Goalie.
Willian Roy Brownridge. Illustrated by the author.
Victoria, BC: Orca Books, 1995. Unpaginated, cloth, $14.95.
ISBN 1-55143-042-8. CIP.
Preschool - grade 2 / Ages 4 - 7.
Review by Dave Jenkinson.
The Moccasin Goalie's adult narrator recalls a period
during his childhood when he lived in the small prairie community of
Willow. There he spent his winter free time playing hockey with his three
best friends on the town's snow-covered streets and outdoor rink.
Because of a crippled leg and foot, he could not wear skates, but
just tended goal in his moccasins, a practice that earned him the
nickname "Moccasin Danny." When the community establishes the Wolves, a "real,"
uniformed hockey team, Danny is initially elated at the
thought of becoming a Wolf, but his happiness is short lived as he and
two of his friends don't get selected by Coach Matteau. But the situation
changes when the Wolves' regular goalie gets hurt just before an
important game and the coach -- with the league's permission -- recruits
the non-skating Danny. Despite his nervousness, Danny makes enough saves
to help the Wolves win. Coach Matteau asks Danny to become a permanent
team member, and Danny agrees with the provision that his two previously
rejected friends can become Wolves too.
Brownridge's full-colour paintings -- especially his double-page
spreads -- powerfully capture both the biting cold of prairie winters and
the eye-dazzling brightness of the season's days as rays from the low
winter sun reflect off snow-covered land. A series of three consecutive
double-page spreads focusing on the critical game dramatically
freeze-frames the action. Only the presence of horse-drawn sleighs gently
reminds contemporary readers of the book's period setting.
The combination of a warm, affirming story and fine illustration
makes this a book for all collections serving young listeners and
Dave Jenkinson teaches courses in children's and young-adult literature
in the Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba.
Copyright © 1995 the Manitoba Library Association.
Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice
maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
The Manitoba Library Association
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