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PELÉ, KING OF SOCCER/PELÉ, EL REY DEL FUTBOL by Monica Brown Kirkus Star

PELÉ, KING OF SOCCER/PELÉ, EL REY DEL FUTBOL

By Monica Brown (Author) , Rudy Gutierrez (Illustrator) , Fernando Gayesky (Translator)

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-06-122779-0
Publisher: HarperCollins

This beautifully designed story of soccer’s best athlete begins in the midst of a game with the star about to score. “Pelé! Pelé! O Rei! Pelé! The King!” shouts the roaring crowd. Brown’s exuberant introduction transitions to a more sedate narrative that depicts the poor but hopeful upbringing of a boy in a small Brazilian town, playing soccer with nothing but a grapefruit or a newspaper-filled sock. When ten-year-old Pelé sees his father’s disappointment after Brazil’s World Cup loss, his promise to win one for his dad foreshadows his hard work and escalating talent. Gutiérrez’s alluring multi-style gouache paintings swoop and swirl with energy and color. An abstract Pelé in a sweeping, action-filled kick appears against more realistic portraits of a boy and his father, all superimposed over backgrounds and borders that reflect indigenous patterns. The stunning images place Pelé’s achievements within the context of his native country. Told in a dual English/Spanish text, this inspiring blend of art and story scores a winning goal. (Picture book/biography. 5-8)