CM . . .
. Volume XXII Number 21. . . .February 5, 2016
Lucy Tries Soccer. (Lucy Tries Sports).
Lisa Bowes. Illustrated by James Hearne.
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2016.
32 pp., pbk. with flaps, pdf & epub, $12.95 (pbk.).
ISBN 978-1-4598-1022-8 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-4598-1023-5 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-4598-1024-2 (epub).
Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 4-7.
Review by Meredith Cleversey.
Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.
It’s Saturday morning with Lucy and friends. They’re ready to play on field number ten.
In her new jersey, Lucy’s pleased as can be. For the very first time she’ll play three on three!
Lucy Tries Soccer is Lucy’s third sports adventure for young readers. This time, Lucy is out on the soccer field getting ready for a match of ‘the beautiful game’. After a pep talk from their coach, Lucy and her teammates practice their footwork and then set off for a fun game against their friends on the opposing team.
While Lucy’s first two adventures focussed on winter sports not necessarily well-known to children – luge and short track – Lucy Tries Soccer breaks this mold by showing Lucy in warmer weather, playing a sport many children are already familiar with. Although there is nothing wrong with Lucy’s decision to play soccer, it would have been nice if the series had continued choosing sports that are a bit lesser known. The introduction to the sport (and the demonstration of children experiencing it) is part of the magic of this series, and some of the spark is lost when Lucy’s playing a game she, and the audience, are better acquainted with.
However, even if the subject matter is not as unusual as the previous two books, Lucy Tries Soccer still offers readers a lot of interesting information about the sport. In addition to highlighting player positions and strategies within the rhyming storyline, such as when Lucy and her teammate Danny pass the ball back and forth in ‘give and go’ fashion, there is also a page of information about the sport of soccer at the end of the book. The story even makes use of both the term ‘soccer’ and ‘football’ when referencing the sport, offering kids an explanation of this confusing cultural difference.
As always, what makes Lucy’s interactions with sports so wonderful is the positive energy this character brings to each game she plays. Lucy and her friends enjoy playing soccer. But while they recognize that it’s fun to score goals and win, they also realize that playing the game is the best part, regardless of which team comes out on top. There is also an emphasis on sportsmanship which is shown when Lucy happily leaves the game to sit on the bench and let another team member have a turn, as well as when the two teams shake hands at the end of the game. James Hearne’s bubbly and colourful illustrations always show Lucy and her friends being active and having fun, adding to the uplifting energy of the entire “Lucy Tries Sports” series.
Lucy Tries Soccer is a fine addition to the “Lucy Tries Sports” series. Readers will enjoy seeing Lucy play a sport they recognize and may even have played themselves, and, as always, Lucy and her friends show how exciting and fun playing a new or familiar sport can be. With her adventurous and friendly attitude, Lucy continues to be a fantastic role model for active children everywhere.
Meredith Cleversey is a librarian in Cambridge, ON. She loves to read, write, and live in a world of pure imagination.
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