Thursday, February 20, 2014

Losers? by Pauline Reeves illustrated by Adam Carruthers

You may have noticed I have not reviewed many books about sport on this blog.  This is partly because I rarely find a sport theme book that I enjoy.

Today a young boy in Grade 3 visited our school library. He is having difficulty with book selection and has been focusing on quite complex books intended for our senior students.  I know this boy loves his soccer so I took the opportunity to grab a handful of little chapter books about soccer.  We actually have quite a few.

Tonight I bought three home to read so that I can talk about them with this student and with other soccer crazy readers.

Losers? is just a brilliant little junior novel.  It feels like an authentic story as we read that the narrator has to give the sport report at the School Assembly.  Sadly the team have lost their last match of the season and lost it badly fifteen to one (we were the one).

"The other team were called The Rotten Rats.  They are sponsored by a pest company that goes around killing rats and mice and snakes. And probably lions and tigers too.  The Rotten Rats have a big fierce rat on their jumpers.  It's got huge teeth and there's blood dripping out of its mouth.  Our sponsor is Peter's father. He owns a worm farm.  We're the Wiggly Worms.  Our jumpers have a goofy-looking worm called Wally on them."

This slim book of just 55 pages has colourful illustrations and uses different fonts to emphasize important words - you may have seen this technique used in the Geronimo Stilton books.

There is no changing the fact that the team lost their match but our narrator is able to deliver a very positive report at the Assembly when he thinks about all the good things that have happened to his team over the season.  This book is from the Mates Great Australian Yarns series and I certainly plan to read some more of these now that I have made this discovery.

I read two other little soccer stories tonight both by Martin Waddell.  Going up follows the fortunes of the Belton Goalbusters as they climb the winners' ladder each week. Part of this book is laid out like a mini photo album so you can see the action from each game.  Cup Final Kid is all about the Hottenham Totspurs (versus Wombledon Home) and one special player called Herbie Bazooka.  He is small, he is fat, he wears glasses and he is only eight years old but he may be the best striker the team have ever seen.  This is probably because he plays like they do in Brazil.

"Herbie back flipped.  Herbie ball juggled.  Herbie cannonball shot with his right then with his left ... breaking the net. Herbie hit corner-inswingers and outswingers. The team were amazed. They'd never seen anyone play like Herbie Bazooka, except maybe Pele."

If you are a soccer fan and looking for a simple chapter book we have plenty to choose from in our school library.

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