________________ CM . . . . Volume XIII Number 12 . . . . February 2, 2007

cover Hockey Trivia for Kids.

Eric Zweig.
Toronto, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2006.
124 pp., pbk., $6.99.
ISBN 0-439-95266-2.
Subject Headings:
Hockey-Miscellanea-Juvenile literature.
National Hockey League-Miscellanea-Juvenile literature.
Grades 2-5 / Ages 7-10.
Review by Laura Dodwell-Groves.
**½ /4 


A Puck By Any Other Name.
Ever wonder why we call a puck a puck? Some think it comes from Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In it, Puck, a mischievous sprite, appears and disappears without warning – sort of like a hockey puck in a crowd of sticks and skates.
More likely, though, the word comes from an Irish game called hurling, which is a mixture of field hockey and lacrosse. In Irish slang, the word “puck” is sometimes used to mean smack or strike. For example, “a puck in the puss” is like saying a punch in the mouth. 

Who’s the Stanley Cup named after? How many misspelled words are printed on the cup? Who’s won the most Stanley Cup championships?.... Some of the many questions that you may have wondered about and will be answered in Eric Zweig’s collection of hockey trivia.  

     This book has a varied and interesting collection of facts. It is clearly written and well laid out with a diverse array of pictures and illustrations. The illustrations (by Scholastic) are amusing, even if slightly generic.
     Hockey Trivia for Kids will appeal to a wide audience, from the ‘I like hockey and know nothing about it’ to the ‘I like hockey and already know many things about it but want to know more.’ It informs without condescension. The keenest hockey trivia buff will doubtless outgrow this compendium quite quickly, but it is certainly a good place to start. 

     My favourite part is the advice on page 1: to study the back of the Canadian five-dollar bill. Countries design their currency as a representation of who they are and of what they are proud. Zweig reminds one that children playing with delight on ice is really where the Canadian heart lies.
     A fun trivia book. I shall harass friends and relatives with many factoids. I could answer the questions at the start of the review, but I think I’ll let you find out for yourselves….

Laura Dodwell-Groves is a Master of Children’s Literature student at the University of British Columbia. 

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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