________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIV Number 8. . . October 27, 2017


Goodnight, Hockey Fans.

Andrew Larson. Illustrated by Jacqui Lee.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2017.
32 pp., hardcover, $18.99.
ISBN 978-1-77138-105-5.

Preschool-grade 1 / Ages 3-6.

Review by Amber Allen.

**½ /4


“Welcome back, hockey fans from coast to coast,” says the familiar voice. “What a game we have tonight!”

The boy closes his eyes and settles in.

He shifts.

He listens to the voice on the radio.

He drifts…


It is late at night and time for our male protagonist to go to bed. He worries aloud to his parents that he might not be able to fall asleep knowing that one room over they are watching the hockey game. The boy desperately wants to experience the game but allows himself to be tucked in nonetheless. After a few restless minutes, he takes out his father’s old radio from under his pillow, turns the dial until he hears the hockey announcer’s voice, and slowly drifts off to sleep to the sounds of the cheers of hundreds of hockey fans. What starts as a dream about the real life game turns into a fantastical reverie of the boy, himself, scoring the winning goal. Not only was he able to fall asleep despite his worry to the contrary, he also was never taken away from the action and appeal of his favourite sport.

     Goodnight, Hockey Fans is a great bedtime book for the hockey lover and his or her family. In what is obviously a strategic move, Larson does not give his main character a name. He is only ever referred to as “the boy” in an attempt to make him the everyman, or “everyboy” in this case, representing hockey fans of all ages, genders, and cultures who share a deeply felt love of the game. This story is not complex or remarkable, and the book certainly is not doing anything new or innovative, but it is a short and sweet homage to a Canadian tradition and, therefore, will be quite at home on many family shelves from coast to coast.

     What is unique about Goodnight, Hockey Fans is the artwork. The digitally edited gouache illustrations take a bold stance, relying almost exclusively on shades of contrasting teal and yellow. What they lack in colour variation they more than make up for in visual interest and detail. I really like the colour palate and think it is important to note that those two colours combined are not representative, in whole or in part, of any team in the National Hockey League. As this is a book for all hockey lovers to relate to, that is an important choice. Goodnight, Hockey Fans, with its balance of sports action and winding down for bedtime, is a book worth reading to your little Gretzky or Wickenheiser.


Amber Allen is a librarian in Toronto, ON, with a passion for children’s literature and writing.

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

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