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by Justin Tuck & illustrated by Leonardo Rodriguez

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Aug. 30th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4424-0369-7
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

There's such a big heart to this picture-book memoir you’d have to be a drizzly-Sunday-afternoon-in-winter sourpuss not to recognize its grin potential.

Tuck, an All-Pro defensive end for the New York Giants, wasn’t always a tough hombre. He was once a little kid with five sisters who knew how to put him in his place. In this tale of sibling good intentions gone awry, they administer a haircut and Tuck emerges as a rather young example of male pattern baldness, or, as his sister tells their appalled mother, “We didn’t mean for it to turn out like a reverse Mohawk.” It’s a pleasing story, easy and enjoyable to move through—which make this book, part of a literacy project Tuck started, a boon for young sportsters who need some encouragement to read. They will appreciate the devious, heady watercolors, which display more than a touch of Mad magazine (where Rodriguez is an illustrator). Tuck’s tribulations, because of his modesty, good nature and the fact that he becomes a professional football player anyway, add to the affectionate nature of the story. This is a family that stays and pulls together; sure, your sisters may make you look like Bozo the Clown, but that doesn’t mean they don’t love you, or that, even if you are 6’5” and 274 pounds, they don’t still dominate you.

As celebrity picture books go, this one's a sight more palatable than most. (Picture book. 4-8)