________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIV Number 2. . . .September 15, 2017


Crazy for Hockey! Five All-Star Stories.

Gilles Tibo. Illustrated by Bruno St-Aubin. Translated by Petra Johannson.
Toronto, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2017.
152 pp., hardcover, $14.99.
ISBN 978-1-4431-0744-0.


Where’s My Hockey Sweater?
See review at Vol. XII, No. 6, November 10, 2005.

The Best Goalie Ever.
See review at Vol. XVI, No. 7, October 16, 2009.

The Big Game.
See review at Vol. XIX, No. 8 .October 26, 2012.

A Very Hockey Christmas.
See review at Vol. XX, No. 26, March 7, 2014.

Most Valuable Player.

Preschool-grade 3 / Ages 4-8.

Review by Dave Jenkinson.

***1/2 /4



Jeremy stared down at the ground. He told Nicholas what it had been like in his old town.

“I didn’t have many friends,” he said. “And it’s happening all over again.”

“Well, what do you like to do best?” Nicholas asked him.

Wiping away a tear, Jeremy answered, “I love skating and I’d love to play hockey, but I don’t think I would be very good.”

“But you are so fast! Said Nicholas. You have all the qualities of a great scorer. All you need is some training.”

“But I don’t have a coach!” replied Jeremy.

I know a good coach!” Nicholas smiled. “Me!”. (From Most Valuable Player.)


Crazy for Hockey! Five All-Star Stories is a collection of five Tibo authored and St-Aubin illustrated books previously published between 2004 and 2015, each featuring hockey-mad Nicholas and his family. Since the first four titles were previously reviewed in CM, this review will focus primarily on Most Valuable Player and the collection as a whole. When young readers first met Nicholas in Where’s My Hockey Sweater?, they learned how messy he (and perhaps his whole family) was as he searched high and low to find the various pieces of his hockey equipment for the team’s first practice. In The Best Goalie Ever, a very sleepy Nicholas suddenly finds himself drafted as the team’s goalie. The young players find their own solution to the problems created by “hockey parents” and overly zealous coaches in The Big Game. Nicholas and his teammates also come up with a solution to the problem of everyone’s having gifted all of them incorrectly sized hockey gear in A Very Hockey Christmas.

     Given the title, Most Valuable Player, readers might logically assume that the “most valuable player” would be Nicholas, the central character of the series. However, it’s not. Instead, it’s Nicholas’ new neighbour, Jeremy. While Nicholas befriends Jeremy, Jeremy is quickly and repeatedly shunned by his new male classmates as he’s terrible at playing soccer, baseball and basketball. As the excerpt above reveals, Jeremy was essentially friendless in his old neighborhood, and he fears the same situation is now happening in this new setting. Jeremy’s revelation that he’s a good skater but knows nothing about playing hockey causes Jonathan to volunteer to be his “secret” coach, with the result being found in the book’s title. Readers will likely admire Nicholas for befriending Jeremy and for repeatedly standing up for him, actions which might have diminished his social standing amongst his peers. However, Jeremy’s becoming a hockey player might also leave the message that conformity is the path to popularity. While Most Valuable Player is an acceptable read, it is the most overtly “serious” of the five titles in the collection.

     Overall, however, Crazy for Hockey! Five All-Star Stories would be an excellent purchase for home, sachool and public libraries. Those institutional libraries that already own the earlier paperback versions of these five titles might wish to replace them with this economical and studier hardcover compilation.

Highly Recommended.

Dave Jenkinson, CM’s editor, lives in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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