Friday, 4 May 2012

TBC: Puckster's First Hockey Game

We got to meet Puckster and his friends in yesterday's article, and today, we continue the story of our furry protagonists taking on the Rockets in Puckster's First Hockey Game, written by Lorna Schultz Nicholson, illustrated by Kelly Findley, and published by Fenn/Tundra Books. Teebz's Book Club has been working to find more books for children because it seems that the largest demographic of hockey players are the least represented when it comes to good hockey literature. I'm happy to say that I like the Puckster series, and I'm glad to stumbled upon it in my local bookstore. I think that any young readers - children aged 3-6 - will also be a fan of Puckster and his friends in this series.

From the Tundra site, "Lorna Schultz Nicholson grew up in St. Catharines, Ontario. She was a co-host and script writer for an aerobic television show. Moving to Ottawa, she was a reporter for a news show, and a researcher for a sports show, Donohue’s Legends, at CJOH television. Later, she hosted, produced, and wrote all the material for her own syndicated radio show in Ottawa, titled Family Time. By this time she’d had three beautiful children and she moved her family to Calgary, Alberta. There, she did a brief stint at writing magazine articles and a sports column, and a community events reporter for a local radio station." You can follow Lorna on her website by clicking here.

Also from the Tundra site, "For the past six years Kelly Findley has been working as a graphic designer, mostly with Hockey Canada, the largest National Sports Organization in Canada. Prior to working at Hockey Canada, she worked as both an in-house designer with a variety of different companies and for an advertising agency." You can check out other work Kelly has done by clicking here.

In Puckster's First Hockey Game, the second book of the Puckster series, we pick up the story as Puckster and his friends are set to start the game in their new uniforms against the Rockets. The Rockets are a team said to be skilled and mean, so the challenge laid before Puckster and his friends will be difficult.

The game started well for Puckster and his friends. Manny made a great defensive play against a Rockets forward, and the transition game turned up ice as Puckster took a great pass from Francois as he and Charlie broke in on the defence. Puckster was looking for Charlie on the play, but he had the puck stolen off his stick by a Rocket! Before Puckster can believe it, the Rockets scored on Roly to lead the game 1-0!

Puckster and his friends would rally to tie the game as Francois found some room through the five-hole, but the Rockets scored again to jump out to the 2-1 lead! Before the end of the period, however, Sarah would even the game once again on a great individual rush, and the period would end 2-2. Puckster was very happy with those results, and his teammates seemed to be doing well except for one: Charlie.

Charlie hadn't touched the puck in the first period, and was really down about it in the intermission. Puckster tired to get him going in the second period, but Charlie's bad luck with the puck resulted in a couple of goals for the Rockets! With Charlie really down between the second and third periods, it was up to his team to help him out. But how could they break his streak of bad luck? How could they get him back into the right attitude to win the game?

I really think that Miss Schultz Nicholson did a fabulous job in Puckster's First Hockey Game by promoting teamwork and showing how good teams pick each other up. Even when Puckster and his friends found themselves down in the game, they didn't let each other get down, and rallied to tie the game through their positivity and teamwork. More importantly, Puckster and his friends were there to help a teammate who was having a bad game. All of these lessons are valuable for children to learn so that they become examples of what good people and great teammates are.

Much like Puckster's First Hockey Sweater, the writing in Puckster's First Hockey Game is fairly easy to read for your younger readers, and the story really moves as pages turn to find out if Puckster and his friends win the game. The 24-page story contains a couple of important life lessons that will help your young hockey star become a better teammate, and the story really speaks about having the right attitude when playing. The lessons taught by Miss Schultz Nicholson in Puckster's First Hockey Game, along with Puckster's tips at the end, make it easy to recommend this book for children just starting to read.

Because of the great lessons contained within the story and the way that Miss Schultz Nicholson frames them, Puckster's First Hockey Game is certainly deserving of the Teebz's Book Club Seal of Approval! This book series is recommended for your reader aged 3-6, and your budding hockey star, I think, will enjoy the stories of Puckster and his friends.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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