________________ CM . . . . Volume XVIII Number 16 . . . . December 16, 2011


Hockey Superstars 2011-2012.

Paul Romanuk.
Toronto, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2011.
48 pp., pbk., $7.99.
ISBN 978-1-4431-0741-9.

Grades 3 and up / Ages 8 and up.

Review by Dave Jenkinson.

*** /4



Dustin Byfuglien

Dustin Byfuglien wasn’t exactly a highly rated player for the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. Scouts loved his size, but wondered if “Big Buf” would be a big bust because he lacked the emotional spark scouts like to see in 18- and 19-year-old players. In the end, the Chicago Blackhawks drafted Dustin 245th overall. He then spent a couple of seasons in junior hockey with the Prince George Cougars in the Western Hockey League, and a couple more bouncing between the Hawks and their minor league affiliate in Norfolk, Virginia. Finally, in 2007-2008, Dustin was up with Chicago to stay. Two seasons later he was sipping champagne from the Stanley Cup and had been one of the key pieces to their win.

In the same way that southward bound V-shaped formations of Canada geese mark the end of fall and the imminent arrival of winter, the appearance of a new edition of Paul Romanuk’s Hockey Superstars signals that a new National Hockey League Season is about to begin.

internal art

      Romanuk, a sports broadcaster and author, maintains the book’s familiar “sandwich” format with the “meat” consisting of 16 pairs of glossy pages, with the rectos resembling oversized hockey cards bearing an action, full-colour photo of one of the volume’s superstars, the entries being arranged alphabetically from the Philadelphia Flyers’ Danny Brière to the Detroit Red Wings’ Henrik Zetterberg. A seventeenth star, the Boston Bruins’ Tim Thomas, is highlighted on the book’s cover, with the two-column text about hm appearing on the cover’s verso. The major text for the other NHL stars, which appears on the page facing the player’s photo, usually speaks to happenings related to the player’s previous NHL season and includes quotes by or about the player, with one comment being highlighted and bolded. “Hockey Memory” and “Did You Know?” can be found at the bottom of the text page, with both providing brief snippets of information about the page’s focal player. For example, about the Montreal Canadiens’ Carey Price, the “Hockey Memory” informs readers that “At the 2007 World Junior Championship, Corey was a gold-medal winner for Canada, and the tournaments’s Most Valuable Player” while the “Did You Know?” portion states that “Corey is a real cowboy. He has won a few team calf-roping events at rodeos in his home province of British Columbia.” On the photo page, Romanuk provides the player’s stats for the previous season as well as his draft ranking and first NHL team, date and place of birth, position, height, weight (Imperial and metric units) and shooting/catching handedness.

      The book’s “bread” is again made up of two sections of matte pages which either provide information about the NHL and its teams or offer the book’s reader an opportunities to record information as the season proceeds or to make predictions about individual players or team outcomes. Bravo to Romanuk for being completely current regarding teams and including the “new” Winnipeg Jets.

      While the action photos are terrific, they could perhaps be more appealing if all of the players were shown in their home uniforms as opposed to their “white” away jerseys.

      Although the reader participation “bread” portions recommend Hockey Superstars 2011-2012 s an individual “home” purchase, copies in home and school libraries should circulate well.


Dave Jenkinson, CM’s editor, lives in Winnipeg, MB, the home of the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets.

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

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