Dad is schooled about more than soccer the day he “volunteers” to help out his child’s team.
In this role-reversal book, the unnamed first-person narrator, an avid soccer player, is mortified by the sudden change in Dad’s behavior after he dons a jersey and assumes a position on the field. In fact, Dad exhibits all the bad behaviors: whining to the coach, focusing on winning at all costs, picking flowers on the field, fooling around on the sideline, running off to play on the slides, hogging the ball, grumping when the team’s goalie misses a save, and throwing a fit about an accidental foul. The narrator consults Coach, a dark-skinned bald man, who has some words of wisdom, encouraging them to work with Dad’s energy and enthusiasm to focus on being a good sport (a clipboard lists the four points for readers). Remarkably, the father turns his act around in the second half but in the end decides that volunteering for snacks may be more his speed. Lowery’s Photoshop illustrations are filled with bright, flat colors spotlighting the father’s hijinks and the characters’ emotions. Both dad and child have brown hair and light brown skin. The other players are diverse in terms of both race and gender presentation.
Turning the tables shines the light on poor sportsmanship. Will Fergus and Lowery next address bad behavior in the bleachers? (Picture book. 4-8)