CM . . .
. Volume XXIII Number 15. . . .December 16, 2017
A children’s hockey match becomes a guessing game as readers are asked to come up with rhyming words to complete the hockey phrases.
Although the book is ultimately a hockey guessing game, there is still a cleverly woven story as the reader follows a hockey game from start to finish and gets caught up in not only the guessing game but also the hockey game.
The acrylic ink illustrations are fun, action packed and colourful, evoking all the sights and sounds of kids’ hockey games. Many are double page spreads, and the perspective is bang on, giving readers a front row seat to the game that is being played throughout the pages. Boys and girls populate both teams, making the book accessible to everyone.
A few times the rhymes are forced “At the drop, try not to cough. You want to win the face….off,” and although the word count is spare, sometimes an extra word throws off the rhythm (see excerpt above – take out the word “guess” and kids would still understand the rhyming game). HOOOOC-KEY would be better spelled as HOC-KEEEEEEY, to make it sound less like skipping school, when read out loud – all minor changes which would create a better flow.
Also, the rhyming game is most fun when the rhyming words are on the next page, hidden from view. There are a number of pages in which the answer to the rhyme is on the same page as the lead-in, likely so that the book didn’t run too long. The rhyming words are bolded and capitalized for emphasis, helping children learn hockey terms while learning to spell them.
All in all, Let’s Play a Hockey Game! is a fun addition to children’s hockey picture books and a great interactive read-aloud.
Jill Griffith is the Youth Services Manager at Red Deer Public Library in Red Deer, AB.
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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.