Saturday, 31 October 2009

TBC: Just One Goal!

Teebz's Book Club has seen a number of excellent books in its time since I started reviewing them. And I'm proud to say that after twenty-seven book reviews, I have only received one email on how to fix TBC. It wasn't actually a complaint email, but, instead, a suggestion email. The suggestion was to feature a few children's books on the list so that parents could start having their children read books on the subject of hockey at an earlier age than adolescence. I gave it some thought, and TBC is proud to present the first of what I hope to be many children's books on hockey for your children to enjoy. Today, Teebz's Book Club is proud to review Just One Goal!, written by Robert Munsch, illustrated by Michael Martchenko, and published by Scholastic.

The man to left who appears to be extremely scared - appropriate for a Halloween entry no less - is Robert Munsch. Mr. Munsch has written over fifty books for children in his time, including such favorites as Love You Forever, Murmel Murmel Murmel, and The Paper Bag Princess. Here is his full bio, but I'm just going to run down some highlights. Born on June 11, 1945 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Mr. Munsch worked as a Jesuit priest in a daycare and an orphanage where he told his stories about his crazy characters to the children. After moving to Canada with his wife because the daycare lost its funding, Mr. and Mrs. Munsch worked at a lab preschool at the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario. It was here that Mr. Munsch's boss convinced Robert to publish his stories, and Mud Puddle became Robert's first publication. Since that time, Robert lost his American citizenship, gained Canadian citizenship, and has become Canada's best-selling author. In 1988, Love You Forever was the best-selling children's book in both Canada and the USA, and is currently the best-selling children's book of all-time according to the New York Times. He and his wife still live in Guelph, Ontario today.

Michael Martchenko is one of Canada's premiere illustrators of children's books, and has worked extensively with Mr. Munsch. Mr. Martchenko was the art director at an advertising agency when he decided to go into illustrating books. From his home studio in Toronto, Ontario, Mr. Martchenko has worked with Mr. Munsch on such titles as The Paper Bag Princess, Andrew's Loose Tooth, and Alligator Baby. He has also written and illustrated his own books, including the largely popular Oonga Boonga. The one thing that makes Mr. Martchenko's illustrations so fun is that he routinely includes visual jokes in his works. If you read More Pies, look for Mr. Munsch and Mr. Martchenko at the bus stop!

Just One Goal! is the story of Ciara, a character based on Ciara Mapes. Miss Mapes is a young lady that Mr. Munsch met while spending time in Hay River, Northwest Territories. Our story starts with Ciara wanting to build a rink in her backyard rather than hauling all of her hockey gear across town to the local hockey rink. Unfortunately, nobody wants to help her build one on the river behind the house. Instead, she does what any resourceful young girl would do: she builds her own.

Due to her efforts, she gets a lot of help in building her rink, and it finally takes shape. Ciara allows all the kids from the neighbourhood to come to her rink to play, but she begins to realize that the team she is playing on never wins.

There are a number of humourous incidents in the book: a moose interrupts the game, a bear interrupts the game, and teenagers interrupt the game. With all the effort of making the rink and all the games that are played on the rink, the inevitable happens: spring arrives! Will Ciara ever win a game?

This 28-page book is perfect for children of any age, and is extremely easy to read with its large font and colourful illustrations. The story flows along very well, and should allow readers at the beginner's level to improve their reading skills as well. Ciara's story is heartwarming and charming, and Mr. Munsch's story will bring a smile to the face of both readers and audience alike. Just One Goal! is recommended for all youth readers, and deserves Teebz's Book Club Seal of Approval for its fun story.

Until next time, Happy Halloween, and keep your sticks on the ice!

1 comment:

book for children said...

TEEBZ , i am also a very big fan of hockey , i am indian and hockey is national game of india.i love to read this book.