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TEAMMATES by Tiki Barber


by Tiki Barber & Ronde Barber & illustrated by Barry Root

Age Range: 6 - 10

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 1-4169-2489-2
Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster

Sincerity and veracity are the hallmarks of the Barbers’ books. Both are top-flight, professional football players, so they know their topic and base their stories on their own experiences as boys. Here their issue is teamwork and practice as Tiki practices the right way to hang on to the ball and they work together to perfect their schoolboy game. But it’s the everyday atmosphere of kids involved in football—and, by extension, any sport—at which the Barbers excel. Given a strong supporting hand by Root’s artwork, with its sense of late summer drifting into early autumn and the changing of the leaves, the Barbers create a world of Saturday morning pick-up practices, poring over record books and dreaming of glory. If the big game does drag on somewhat, it also helps in understanding that’s how the players are experiencing it: Can’t this game just end now (while we’re ahead, and before there is another chance to fumble the ball)? A lesson of building self-confidence through steadfast pursuit of a goal that’s easy to believe and enjoyable to attain. (Picture book. 6-10)