CM . . .
. Volume XXIII Number 19. . . .January 27, 2017
Stompin' Tom Connors' iconic hockey song comes to life in a children's picture book by award winning artist and cartoonist Gary Clement.
Clement begins with a familiar winter scene, a dad fighting to pull his son's skate laces tight. Out onto the ice they go, Dad in his Maple Leafs' jersey, and his son wearing the Boston Bruins colours. As the game proceeds, the words of the Stompin' Tom's famous song appear in huge print on every double spread page. On each page, more and more players of all shapes and sizes, age and gender with (and without) various types of headgear come onto the ice to join in a great game of community shinny.
As fans of Gary Clement (who is the editorial cartoonist for the National Post) will gleefully realize, his version of the good ol' hockey game attracts an amazingly diverse collection of players wearing some truly unique jerseys and other accoutrements. There is a player in a tam o' shanter and kilt, one with a dress hat and tie and another with a turban.
The exciting end of this impromptu game comes:
One more chorus is sung before the author shows readers the penultimate double-page spread, which depicts the motley group spread on the ice in a victory pose. As a follow up to the pre game skate lacing scene, the last page shows father and son walking home in happy companionship.
Most Canadians will have heard the Hockey Song (although they may perhaps not be able to reproduce it note for note). Fortunately, the verses fit just about any variation with which one might come up. The exact notes are quite unnecessary for the song to be read or sung with energy and excitement.
There is a classic version sung by Stompin' Tom, himself, on YouTube, should an adult reader need to get a handle on the tune. Sharing this book with small hockey players or fans should prove both fun and educational as many beginning readers will enjoy "reading" and singing the text.
A retired teacher-librarian, Valerie Nielsen lives in Winnipeg, MB.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.