The excitement of a family’s trip to a football game segues into a Goodnight Moon–like list of goodnights, ending with the young boy in bed, asleep, football tucked under his arm.
At the end of the week, an African-American couple and their two children—a boy and a girl—enjoy a night at the stadium under the lights. The coats, hats and scarves worn by this group of racially diverse fans and the blankets and hot drinks they hold mark football as a fall sport. All the sights and sounds of a big game are here, from the cheerleaders and the band to the mascot and the concession stand. The parts of the story describing the action of the game are exciting, but they may be mystifying to those who are unfamiliar with the sport: “On third and one, the ball is snapped. / But the defense breaks through, and the quarterback’s sacked!” As their Grizzlies win the game, the boy and his family begin the trek out to the car, saying goodnight to all as they pass: the players and coaches, bleachers, fans, goalposts, even the moon. Much is evident from the small details: the family’s love for one another, the good sportsmanship on display on the field and the boy’s passion for football. Although the scansion is spotty and the illustrations pedestrian, there are so few football-themed picture books on the shelves already that this is worth a look.
At least one fan’s dreams will be of the gridiron. (Picture book. 4-7)