November 19, 2009

Best Hockey Books For Kids

Christmas is coming, and we all have some hockey crazed youth on our shopping list. So why not get him or her a hockey themed book? Give them the gift of hockey and reading, usually in the $10 range.

Here's my recommended list, based on entertainment value, readability and message.

Just One Goal by Robert Munsch, Illustrated by Michael Martchenko. Full Review

Perhaps the world's most prolific children's author has dreamed up an amazing story about a little girl who loves hockey. She builds the community a rink on the frozen river, but her team never wins. She's determined to score her team a victory, even as the thawing rink presents great danger

It does not get better than this - Hockey and Robert Munsch! - -

The Hockey Tree By David Ward, Illustrated by Brian Deines Full Review

This highly acclaimed book from 2006 makes it's paperback debut in 2008. The Hockey Tree is a great story about a father, son and daughter enjoying Canada's great game on a frozen lake. But they run into a problem when their puck falls into an ice fisherman's hole. Have no fear, dad has a plan to keep the hockey going, but he needs the kids to help him find the perfect tree - The Hockey Tree

It's a great story folks, but the illustrations really make this book perfect. Using soft tones illustrator Brian Deines perfectly captures the great Canadian dream of hockey in it's purest form.

Buy The Book - Amazon - Chapters -

Brady Brady hockey series by Mary Shaw, Illustrated by Chuck Temple Full Review

The kid in me was instantly taken by the cartoonish illustrations and the brilliant use of colour. It is sure to catch anyone's eye. And better yet I was then wowed by the fun story telling complete with strong moral messages. Fun plus a good message is the necessary equation for any kid's title that I am going to endorse, and Brady Brady tops the list!

Buy The Books - - Chapters -

Dino-Hockey by Lisa Wheeler Full Review

Written by veteran children's book author Lisa Wheeler and beautifully illustrated by Barry Gott, this book, aimed at ages 4 to 9, is a fun read that can be enjoyed by both kids and parents. The rhyming text had me chuckling, aided nicely colorful paintings of exaggerated expressions of dinosaurs trying to play hockey.

The premise of the book is of a a hockey game played between opposing dinosaur teams: the Meat-Eaters and the Veggiesaurs. The scowling T. Rex redefines intimidation on ice, while the slap stick humor of the pterodactyl twins keep things light. My favorite characters are the overlooked Dodo bird referee, and the concession stand operator selling various forms of prehistoric delicacies to the crowd - meat and plants, of course.

Buy the book: - Chapters -

The Rocket by Mike Leonetti and Greg Banning Full Review
Interview with Mike Leonetti

Leonetti tells the story of Rocket Richard through an aspiring young hockey player named Andre. Andre loves the Rocket, and he loves to play hockey. But he gets tired of always being compared to his big brother, the real hockey star of the family. Then one day Andre and his father are lucky enough to attend a Montreal Canadiens game and watch the Rocket score no less than 5 goals.

Sitting beside Andre that night at the game is the star of Andre's hockey league. He discovers that as good as this other kid is, he too constantly has to put up with comparisons to his big brother. I won't give too much away, other than to say Andre learns the other kid's name is Henri.

Buy the book: | - Chapters - |
The book is also available in Canada in French: | - Chapters|

Home Ice: Canada's 2010 Men's Olympic Hockey Team Guide by Lorna Schultz Nicholson Full Review

Officially licensed by Hockey Canada complete with a foreword by Steve Yzerman and an introduction by Bob Nicholson, the book features profiles of all 46 NHL players invited to Team Canada's Olympic orientation camp back in August 2009. 23 of those players will comprise Canada's Olympic team. The other 23 will be after-thoughts, making this title a bit unnecessary. A book of this quality featuring only the 23 players who do make the team would make for a nice keep-sake. With Canada not naming the actual Olympic team until December 31st, publishing deadlines makes that almost impossible. No doubt there will be spectacular magazine releases and tons of television and online coverage to commemorate the team well before the Olympics.

Perhaps that's why this book is aimed more at the juvenile market. Schultz-Nicholson is a veteran youth writer, offering excellent biographies. The team at HB Fenn put together a beautiful book with glossy pages and color action photography throughout, as well as statistical compendiums for kids to devour.

Buy The Book: - Chapters -


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