Picture Books - Hunter & Stripe and the Soccer Showdown
Hunter & Stripe and the Soccer Showdown by Laura Malone Elliott and illustrated by Lynn Munsinger 2005
With so many blogs commenting recently on sports related books, I thought I would share this one that I picked up at the library last week. Hunter and Stripe are the quintessential best friends. They do everything together from learning to read to dressing the same at Halloween. Then comes the day when they sign up to play soccer, but Hunter and Stripe end up playing on different teams. So far, it isn’t too bad. Each gets to go to the other ones games and cheer their friend on. As the season moves forward each has learned to better themselves in a particular soccer skill. However, as the season comes to a close both of their teams are undefeated and now they have to play each other. Like typical boys they begin to “trash” talk about the other losing and how one is better than the other at playing soccer. As the week wears on their friendship is challenged.
Right before the big game Hunter’s big sister explains what is really important about playing. That it is only a game and it is suppose to be fun. She then continues to explain that one should be excited and enjoy the wonderful things you are able to do no matter who wins. But, Hunter doesn’t get it right away. As Hunter and Stripe match up against each other at the game words begin to fly. But, as the game goes on each of them sees how well the other plays, yet they don’t verbalize the compliments. With the game tied up and the coaches arguing about an out of bounds call, Hunter and Stripe share a laugh over the situation. When the game starts back up, they return to playing each other, but now as friends. In the end, someone must lose, but Hunter sums it up as “If he had to lose, he was glad his friend could win”. The story really portrays what sportsmanship could be like and hopefully is for many kids and their friends. Maybe some of the professionals out there can take a tip from this book. I would recommend this to all kids age 4 and up.
Labels: picture books