CM . . .
. Volume XXIV Number 39. . . .June 8, 2018
The Day Dad Joined My Soccer Team.
Maureen Fergus. Illustrated by Mike Lowery.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2018.
32 pp., hardcover, $18.99.
Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 4-7.
Review by Alison Schroeder.
We all crowded around Coach to find out what positions he wanted us to play. When my dad heard that he was on defense, he complained that defense was BORING and starting whining at Coach to let him play forward instead.
I was embarrassed.
The Day Dad Joined My Soccer Team is a story of a father who volunteers to help out with his sonís soccer team, but he doesnít realize the teamís looking for a volunteer to help with halftime snacks, and, instead, he jumps into the game. At first, the boyís dad is too competitive, but when his son explains that soccer is about having fun, he gets too distracted having fun on the sidelines and in a nearby park. So his son explains that he still needs to listen to the coach and participate in the game. Then he becomes a showoff who is so focused on winning and being the best player that he becomes a bad teammate. Finally, hs son and the coach show him what it means to be a good sport and have fun in the game, and that is when he begins to play fairly and have fun without worrying too much about beating the other team.
This book is well-written and primarily uses dialogue to move the story forward. There are a variety of children represented in the illustrations, and they appear to be of diverse ethnicities. As well, the illustrations portray boys and girls on the same soccer team. The story has clear lessons about how to be a good and fair participant in sports, and how being so ultimately allows everyone to have a good time playing. Because sports are often an applicable metaphor for other aspects of life, young children may require some explanation from an adult to connect the lessons from the story to everyday life. One small thing of note is that the three main characters in the story are all male. As the story is primarily about a father, it might have been more inclusive to have the coach or the principal child be a female so as to not alienate anyone from the already male dominated world of sports.
The illustrations in this story are a bright and eye-catching cartoon style. They use large areas of solid colour and have thick lines outlining all of the objects on the page. They are appropriate for the age of child at which this book is aimed. The text is primarily a typed font, with only certain words written by hand to emphasize them. Overall, The Day Dad Joined My Soccer Team is an easy to read story that has some good lessons for young children.
Alison Schroeder has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Manitoba and is a lover of childrenís books.
© CM Association
University of Manitoba
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