May 28, 2012

Soccer Week: The Everything Kids' Soccer Book

The Everything Kids' Soccer Book (CAN, JP, US, INT)

Written by: Deborah W. Crisfield

Published by: Adams Media

Published on: March 18, 2009

Ages: 9+

Yesterday, for the first day of Soccer Week at Perogies & Gyoza, I introduced a basic fictional easy reader about a player's first time playing soccer. This book is basically that book's polar opposite. It is a very substantial, very thorough look at everything in soccer, from the history to the techniques.

The nine chapters of this book take us through the history of the game and the body we use for it, to the different positions, a number of techniques, and rules for play. In addition to the information covered in the body of the chapters, there are jokes, puzzles, tips, and facts, which make this a really fun book for kids who want to learn more in-depth about soccer, or soccer fanatics who want to learn more about reading in English.

My son likes the tips (an easy word for an early reader to spot on the page!) and jokes the best. His favourite riddle from the book is:
Q: Why do soccer players have terrible manners?
A : Because they're always dribbling!

My personal fave is the Fun Fact! I learned that "The first record of a women's game was one played in Scotland in the 1600s. This was a game between married women and unmarried women. The married women won." Lots of those little tidbits to keep a read-aloud parent interested!

For me what really set this apart from other nonfiction soccer books is that there is a whole chapter on goalkeeping for a goalkeeper called "In The Net." My son and husband both play keeper and it is my experience that despite the importance of this position, there are very few resources specifically for keepers. There are lots of scoring clinics around here but there hasn't been a goalkeeper clinic since my son started playing. Occasionally he plays paired with an older keeper and he absolutely laps up the information he is passed. Aside from providing him with materials in English to pique his interest in reading English, I want to be able to provide him with knowledge he wants for his interests. It was a real pleasure to read through this chapter in the book (he especially likes the part that says you can't blame the keeper because they are only the last line of defense!)

My little keeper in action
The illustrations, by Kurt Dolber, really help facilitate understanding of difficult techniques. The give-and-go pass is so easy to understand by checking out his illustration. The black & white illustrations are timeless and the excellent rendering of the body make the moves easy for kids to emulate.
This book basically has everything a kid could want to know about soccer. If there is one thing I could nitpick about this book, it is that it is very United States-centric. The first page talks about the sport "in this country", and there is an appendix that lists National Hall of Famers without mentioning which country it's for! This probably won't be noticed in the US, but it is for those of us who read the book outside the US. But it does not in any way detract from what an amazing resource this is.

This book review is posted for Nonfiction Monday, which is hosted today by yours truly. Please pop up a post to find a roundup of nonfiction children's books for this week!

1 comment:

  1. What a cute picture!! My husband was a "goalie" too. He loved it and was so proud. I never played organized soccer and part of me wished I'd had. At least, then, I'd know what's going on in the game!


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