A young boy doesn't want to go to bed. The hockey game is on! “What if I can't fall asleep?” the boy says. “Don't worry,” says his dad. “You will.” After his parents have tucked him in and turned out the light, he shines a flashlight on his prized hockey possessions around his room: the posters of his favorite players, the pennant for his favorite team, the puck. Then he decides to listen to the game on his bedside radio, which he places under his pillow. With the familiar drone of the announcer's voice for company, the boy drifts off to sleep. He dreams he has joined his favorite team on the ice --- where he scores the winning goal! And the boy smiles as the announcer exclaims, “What a play! What a goal! What a game!”
Award-winning author Andrew Larsen's simple yet evocative story sets just the right tone for the youngest children, who can relate to the boy's disappointment about missing the exciting nighttime game and his fears that he won't be able to fall asleep. Jacqui Lee's illustrations in soothing greens and blues are done in a wonderful blend of nostalgic and contemporary styles that suit the story's timelessness. This book provides all of the appeal of the perfect bedtime story: the reassurance of caring parents tucking the boy in and then coming back later to check on him, the bedtime routine, the atmospheric winter night outside while it's cozy and snug inside, and the promise of dreams come true.
Andrew Larsen is the acclaimed author of such books as Goodnight, Hockey Fans, A Squiggly Story, The Not-So-Faraway Adventure, In the Tree House and The Imaginary Garden. He lives in Toronto, Ontario.
Jacqui Lee is a graphic designer and the illustrator of I Am Josephine (And I Am a Living Thing), Taffy Time and the Murilla Gorilla series for young readers. Jacqui currently lives in London, England.
Larsen evocatively captures a lovely childhood moment.
A satisfying slice of life that is all the more valuable for helping libraries fill the ongoing demand for sports stories in picture-book collections.