As she did for fairy tales in Yummy (2009), Cousins distills the world’s most popular sport down to its most essential elements for the small fry.
The Maisy First Experiences series continues with this entry into the world of toddler sports. Maisy and her cadre of faithful friends (Cyril, Eddie, Talullah, etc.) are ready to play a soccer game. Dividing themselves up into two teams of three, they have a lot of fun stretching, kicking and passing the ball to teammates. Halftime involves healthy snacks and swigs from water bottles, and then it’s back onto the field. Naturally, the game ends in a tie, with spectators cheering both sides on in turn. Cousins does a good job of explaining potentially difficult facts, such as the concept of opposing teams or the role of the goalie. The good-natured tenor of the book emphasizes the fun to be had in a sport rather than the competitive drive. Further appealing to younger kids is her use of onomatopoeia (a kicked ball makes a “FOUMPHHH!” noise while a sharp “BOUF!” indicates a goal). This is not the only introductory book on soccer for very young children, but it is one kids will actually want to read on their own.
Goooooooooal! (Picture book. 2-6)