CM . . .
. Volume VIII Number 19 . . . . May 24, 2002
Young hockey fans first met Brady Brady in Brady Brady and the Great Rink and Brady Brady and the Runaway Goalie. Because Brady is so focused on hockey, his family always had to call him twice to get his attention, hence his repeated given name. While the first volume introduced Brady Brady and his team, the Icehogs, the next volume concentrated on one of Brady's teammates, Chester, and his hockey-related problem. The two most recent volumes continue the pattern of highlighting a member of the team and resolving the complications in her/his life.
Brady Brady and the Twirlin' Torpedo, Tes is the only girl on
the Icehogs, and, while a few of the Icehog boys had some initial qualms
about playing with a girl, Tes's passion for the game, plus her skill,
especially her "twirlin' torpedo" spin move that she had learned
during her figure skating lesson days, had cemented her place on the
team. However, when the Icehogs play the all male Hounds, Tes becomes
the target of sexist teasing by the Hound players. As the taunting intensifies,
Tes's play deteriorates. In the third period, Brady Brady comes up with
a clever idea to take the heat off Tes.
The "Tree" of Brady Brady and the Singing Tree refers to the nickname that the Icehogs gave Elwood who stood twice as tall as the rest of his teammates. While Tree "loved to play hockey, just for the fun of it," Elwood's father loved hockey for a different reason. He saw Elwood playing in the National Hockey League some day. In holding on to that goal for his son, he pushed Elwood to the point where Elwood simply wanted to quit hockey. One day when the Icehogs were sharing their dreams for the future, including such goals as getting an NHL shutout or scoring an NHL hat trick, Elwood aka Tree shared his dream - to sing in the NHL.
"I've always wanted to sing the anthem at an NHL game. Don't tell my dad."Tree achieves part of that dream by singing the anthem at the Icehog's games, and, while his father is not initially pleased, the two reach an accommodation. Unknown to Tree, Coach arranges for Tree to attain his ambition while he is still playing for the Icehogs.
Like the "Franklin" books, the non-didactic volumes in the Brady Brady series show young children being confronted by child-appropriate difficulties, such as teasing and pushy parents, and finding ways, sometimes with some adult help, to solve them. Chuck Temple's cartoon-style illustrations add a great deal to the books' pleasure, and his attention to details make the local ice rinks and their dressing rooms come alive.
Dave Jenkinson teaches courses in children's and adolescent literature at the Faculty of Education, the University of Manitoba.
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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.