22 poems about all aspects of the game of soccer--everything from the ball and shinguards to red cards, teammates, and the coach. The 13 different forms are described in a note at the end.
Twenty-two poems celebrate,
from a young person’s perspective, the beautiful game that is soccer.
Two poems offer the viewpoints
of a pair of shin guards—one of them left on the field by accident after the
last game. A wry observation about “Fans” is spot-on: “I like it when my
parents come. / I like that they are near. / But when they yell instructions, /
I pretend that I can’t hear.” A poem for two voices in which one player speaks
Spanish and one English happily concludes: “Si! Juguemos! / Yes! Let’s play!” (The
Spanish voice uses English punctuation conventions.) A player contemplates the
difficulty of offering a handshake to an overly aggressive opposing player at
game’s end. Another, carded for an infraction, is relieved to have his apology
accepted. Ikê’s digitally created art is stylized and full of motion. His lighthearted
illustrations incorporate some poetic fantasy elements and flourishes, such as
an inventor creating a perfect teammate: mostly feet for a field player; hands
for a goal keeper. Most of the players display a range of skin colors and hair
colors and textures; a preponderance have short hair. Each poem uses one or
more of 13 poetic forms described briefly in an author’s note—something that
will surely charm teachers and aspiring poets.
A pitch-perfect ode to the
details and delights of playing soccer. (Picture book/poetry. 6-10)