________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIII Number 19. . . .January 27, 2017


The Hockey Song.

Stompiní Tom Connors. Pictures by Gary Clement.
Vancouver, BC: Greystone Books, 2016.
40 pp., hardcover & ebook, $21.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-77164-189-0 (hc.), ISBN 978-1-77164-190-6 (ebook).

Preschool-grade 3 / Ages 4-8.

Review by Valerie Nielsen.

***Ĺ /4


Stompin' Tom Connors' iconic hockey song comes to life in a children's picture book by award winning artist and cartoonist Gary Clement.

Oh, the good olí hockey game
is the best game you can name;
And the best game you can name,
is the good olí hockey game.

internal art     Clement begins with a familiar winter scene, a dad fighting to pull his son's skate laces tight. Out onto the ice they go, Dad in his Maple Leafs' jersey, and his son wearing the Boston Bruins colours. As the game proceeds, the words of the Stompin' Tom's famous song appear in huge print on every double spread page. On each page, more and more players of all shapes and sizes, age and gender with (and without) various types of headgear come onto the ice to join in a great game of community shinny.

     As fans of Gary Clement (who is the editorial cartoonist for the National Post) will gleefully realize, his version of the good ol' hockey game attracts an amazingly diverse collection of players wearing some truly unique jerseys and other accoutrements. There is a player in a tam o' shanter and kilt, one with a dress hat and tie and another with a turban.

     The exciting end of this impromptu game comes:

Now the final flick of a hockey stick
of a hockey stick
and the one
gigantic scream,

The puck is in
The home team wins
[here, Clement cleverly substitutes "the home team" for " the Canadiens"]
the good ol' hockey game.

     One more chorus is sung before the author shows readers the penultimate double-page spread, which depicts the motley group spread on the ice in a victory pose. As a follow up to the pre game skate lacing scene, the last page shows father and son walking home in happy companionship.

     Most Canadians will have heard the Hockey Song (although they may perhaps not be able to reproduce it note for note). Fortunately, the verses fit just about any variation with which one might come up. The exact notes are quite unnecessary for the song to be read or sung with energy and excitement.

     There is a classic version sung by Stompin' Tom, himself, on YouTube, should an adult reader need to get a handle on the tune. Sharing this book with small hockey players or fans should prove both fun and educational as many beginning readers will enjoy "reading" and singing the text.

Highly Recommended.

A retired teacher-librarian, Valerie Nielsen lives in Winnipeg, MB.

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

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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