G IS FOR GOLAZO by James Littlejohn


The Ultimate Soccer Alphabet
by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
Email this review


Featuring dozens of emblematic soccer players, this picture book lives up to its subtitle as the “ultimate alphabet book” for the young soccer/football enthusiast.

Lionel Messi, the yellow card, Pelé, the bicycle kick, Mia Hamm: This soccer-themed alphabet book features concepts and notable players from past and present. Going beyond a mere depiction of the players, it employs a humorous approach, through clever takes on both the players’ names and monikers as well as game situations and soccer lingo. Each page/letter has an unexpected twist to it—a surprising pun, a semi-obscure reference…not exactly what one would expect. For instance, Pelé, the Brazilian legend, is found not under the letter P but K, as he is the “King” of the game; similarly, Diego Maradona, one of last century’s legends, is not under the letter M but under H, as in the “Hand of God,” referencing the infamous illegal goal he scored with his hand in the 1986 World Cup. The subject matter yields some inspiring choices for typically difficult letters: “V is for Vuvuzela,” natch, and “Z is for Zizou in Zebra Stripes.” However, “X is for XI” (as in 11 players) is a little pallid and will need some unpacking for younger readers. In addition to appearing on the copyright page, women are confined to two entries: “Queen” Marta and team “USA” (where Hamm appears).

An imaginative take on the alphabet-book genre that’s sure to gain a place in the hearts of soccer fans. (Informational picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: May 14th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-62937-671-4
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Triumph Books
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2019


AdultTHIS IS SOCCER by Margaret Blackstone
by Margaret Blackstone
ChildrenS IS FOR SNOWMAN by Kathy-jo Wargin
by Kathy-jo Wargin
ChildrenB IS FOR BULLDOZER by June Sobel
by June Sobel