Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Hey, Coach by Linda Ashman

Hey, Coach 
by Linda Ashman
Illustrated by Kim Smith
Published August 2016 
Sterling Children's Books
32 Pages
Review copy provided by publisher

Goodreads Summary
GOAL! This sprightly rhyming picture book captures all the fun and energy of very young children having a blast on the soccer field. Over the course of their first season, the players progress from unsure newcomers to enthusiastic good sports who love the game—and even score! The humor and the real-kid voices will have readers rooting for this spirited and determined team.

My Thoughts
Youth soccer is VERY big in my town. Children starting at age 4 to middle school can play. There is a huge bank of fields dedicated to soccer where flocks of parents and relatives gather to watch their little ones play. This book brought that whole experience back for me. My daughter played soccer for many years. This book depicts coaching youth soccer so perfectly. The kids run every which way, they all want the ball and they all have ailments and boo boos. The coach is encouraging and patient and the parents watch the chaos from the sidelines in any kind of weather. 
Then, something miraculous happens near the end of the season-the children start to play as a team (sort of). They all improve in some way and look forward to the next year. 
The story is told with simple rhyming text scattered about the pages in a variety of colors and sizes. The culturally diverse characters are adorable, each with a unique look. I like how common worries are presented such as uniform issues, falling down or not knowing how to play, creating an opportunity for discussion. 
I can also see this book used in the classroom as a metaphor for teamwork and personal goals. 

I would recommend Hey, Coach! for Preschool-grade 2. 
It would also make a fabulous gift for any youth coach!

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