The Canadian classic twanging salute to hockey, visually set to a gathering of outdoor puck-slingers.
Connors is a Canadian legend for his songs of the northland; in his bouncy, Western, steel-guitar style, he sang about not only hockey, but lumberjacks, snowmobiles, and all things Canadian. In winter, in Canada, where you can’t throw a puck without hitting ice, a pickup game is par for every evening’s course (and early morning, lunch, all day long). Clement locates this game on an urban playground rink, where a white father and son lace up and start singing, setting the chilly air vibrating: “Oh! The good ol’ hockey game, / is the best game you can name.” All are welcome at the good ol’ hockey game, and the players, a multiracial bunch, keep popping on to the rink—what Canadian is ever without a pair of hockey skates?—with their favorite teams’ jerseys. Clement gives each new skater a different, bright shirt, and as the night gets darker, the rink seems to glow brighter. While the presentation here has plenty of steam, it can’t be helped but to think this piece of work needs a singalong, and one read through may be all that’s required to send people looking for a recording.
Considerable fun, just like a game of shinny, and a reason to cut greenhouse-gas emissions that everybody can get behind. (Picture book. 4-8)