CM . . .
. Volume XIX Number 14. . . .December 7, 2012
If your memories of soccer involve miserable P.E. classes on a soggy field when youíd rather be reading Emily Dickinson, then you might be surprised to find that blending soccer with poetry can actually be successful. This woefully unathletic reviewer was highly sceptical about a book of poems on soccer- and only soccer. It just doesnít seem to be a subject that lends itself well to odes and ballads. However, Crazy About Soccer is so packed with delightful little verses on this popular sport that I was sorry to see it end.
Loris Lesynski, the author of numerous childrenís poetry books, including Dirty Dog Boogie and Boy Soup has a deft touch with rhyming couplets and an Ogden Nashesque appreciation for the ridiculous, which leads to some charming soccer ditties that cover a range of topics, from the history of the game through to goalkeeping. The majority of the poems employ fairly standard rhythm and rhyme patterns, yet Lesynskiís verse is so light and clever, with so many unexpected endings, that this lack of poetic variety does not get in the way of enjoyment at all. In fact, keen young soccer players will surely enjoy the range of poems and recognize the love for the sport that comes through in each stanza. Lesynski wisely peppers her longer pieces with short, snappy ones, so reading the book is a breeze. Gerry Rasmussenís illustrations are the perfect complement to the whimsical text, with numerous visual jokes that bring the poems to life (think: woolly mammoth as goalie in a Neanderthal soccer match).
Crazy About Soccer is a fantastic collection of clever poems about an atypically poetic subject, and is a great addition to any childrenís poetry collection.
Elizabeth Walker, a teacher-librarian in Vancouver BC, still doesnít like soccer.
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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.