CM . . .
. Volume XXIV Number 11. . . .November 17, 2017
Never Enough Hockey.
Gilles Tibo. Illustrated by Bruno St-Aubin. Translated by Petra Johannson.
Toronto, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2017.
32 pp., pbk., $7.99.
Preschool-grade 3 / Ages 4-8.
Review by Dave Jenkinson.
At the crack of dawn, Nicholas's dad came running into his bedroom..
"Quick, Nicholas! Get dressed! Hockey camp starts today!"
But Nicholas couldn't even lift his head. His dad felt his forehead, then ran out and got a thermometer. Nicholas's teeth chattered as he held it under his tongue.
"Nicholas, you have a very high fever! You need to stay in bed."
Tibo and St-Aubin have previously collaborated on five books featuring the hockey-loving Nicholas, with all of these titles being reissued in the compilation Crazy for Hockey! Five All-Star Stories. Now, just when a new hockey season is about to begin, Nicholas, his team's goalie last year, finds himself ill, and he spends a week in bed, a situation that causes him to be too late to join his team's training camp. However, Nicholas' hockey season is not necessarily lost as his father informs him:
Coach said you can try out with everyone else in a week. If you qualify, you can be part of the team."
Nonetheless, Nicholas fears that, because he's missed the conditioning benefits of training camp, he will not be in game shape for the tryouts, and so a discouraged Nicholas announces to his parents:
"I've had enough of hockey. I think I'd like to try another sport!"
Nicholas then calls his non-hockey playing friends to assist him in finding a new sport. In turn over the next week, Nicholas, with his friends' coaching, tries tennis, gymnastics, sprinting, running, table tennis, weight lifting, yoga, diving and swimming. At the end of each different new sport experience, despite the fact that he had improved, Nicholas concludes that each "was not for him". Finally, he realizes that he "really missed hockey".
While lacking confidence, Nicholas still makes an appearance at the tryouts where he discovers that three other goalies are vying for a spot on the team's roster. When it comes time for Nicholas to take his turn in net, he puts in a stellar performance using skills he had acquired during his week of trying out other sports, and, thanks to his non-hockey playing friends, Nicholas's secures the starting goalie's position.
St-Aubin's humourous illustrations, which are full of detail and action, will fully engage the book's readers. Nicholas' new sport "coaches" are both boys and girls, and they come from a variety of racial backgrounds.
Readers of Never Enough Hockey will eagerly await the next installment in Nicholas' on-ice life because, as all we ardent hockey fans know, there's never enough hockey.
Dave Jenkinson, CM's editor, lives in Winnipeg, MB.
© CM Association
University of Manitoba
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