Big Kicks

Overview

Now in paperback— Goal! Kids of all sizes (and soccer abilities) will get a kick out of this humorous tale of high expectations—and the rewards of being yourself.

Biggie Bear lives in a quiet corner of a busy little town. He collects stamps, plays jazz, and enjoys being by himself. One day, the town soccer team knocks on his door, and they need BIG help. Biggie’s never played soccer before, and once they are out on the fi eld, Biggie realizes that maybe there is more to soccer ...

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Overview

Now in paperback— Goal! Kids of all sizes (and soccer abilities) will get a kick out of this humorous tale of high expectations—and the rewards of being yourself.

Biggie Bear lives in a quiet corner of a busy little town. He collects stamps, plays jazz, and enjoys being by himself. One day, the town soccer team knocks on his door, and they need BIG help. Biggie’s never played soccer before, and once they are out on the fi eld, Biggie realizes that maybe there is more to soccer than just being big. Bob Kolar’s droll, vibrantly illustrated tale about a lovable (but rather clumsy) bear and his endearing (but rather unlucky) team is sure to win some BIG fans.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Cynthia Levinson
Biggie, a large bear, lives a quiet, eccentric life, playing jazz, eating peanut-butter-and-banana sandwiches, and collecting stamps. His placid, solitary existence is intruded upon when the Mighty Giants, a local soccer team—comprised of a timid rabbit, a small squirrel, a smelly skunk, a fluffy duck, and a slow turtle, all with appropriately descriptive names—knock on his door and ask his help in their upcoming match. Their only large player, a dog, has a case of the fleas. Never having played soccer, Biggie demurs. But Twirly Squirrel prevails by pointing out, "Don't worry. You're big, and the ball is little." Size, however, is not sufficient. When Biggie kicks, he misses the ball and lands on his rump, "Ba-dump!" Other mishaps continue to lead him astray until, serendipitously, he stoops to pick up a rare stamp floating by. The ball hits his head, bounces off other players, and goes into the goal. The Mighty Giants win the game! They want to carry Biggie on their shoulders but, of course, cannot. So they retire to his house for peanut-butter-and-banana sandwiches, jazz, and stories about soccer and stamps. This sweet story offers a gentle, worthwhile, and not-often-told message. The appealing illustrations are colorful and simple, portraying almost puppet-like characters. These, along with the low word count and unadorned, sometimes wry text, make the book appropriate for reading aloud to young children and pleasure reading for slightly older children. Reviewer: Cynthia Levinson
School Library Journal

PreS-K

Biggie Bear's soccer-playing friends appear at his doorstep with a size XXL shirt, begging him to join them, since Brown Dog has fleas and can't play. Biggie is a jazz fan who collects stamps, but his lack of experience on the field takes a backseat to the fact that he looks good in the team color. Despite his athletic shortcomings, the score is tied until the bear bends over to grasp a rare stamp on the ground and heads the ball into the net for the winning goal. Biggie returns to the field after that, but always as an enthusiastic fan. Kolar's soccer story is just rollicking enough for listeners, despite the stereotypical minor characters-Smelly Smell Skunk, Scared Rabbit, Twirly Squirrel, etc. The large format facilitates sharing the book with groups. Digital cartoons of rounded figures with exaggerated features are brightly hued and presented in detailed scenes that are balanced with less complex spreads. This simple tale that encourages trying things out of one's comfort zone will capture prospective players too young or wiggly for longer reads like Jonathan London's Froggy Plays Soccer (Viking, 1999).-Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA

Kirkus Reviews
Biggie Bear knows a lot about jazz and stamp collecting, but nothing about soccer. Still, when the town's diminutive Mighty Giants appear on his doorstep, begging him to step in for the incapacitated Brown Dog, he obligingly agrees to give it a go. A huge black presence in each bright, flat, digital suburban spread, Biggie comes across as intimidating enough to the opposing team-but, as Kolar rightly notes, "being big and being good at soccer were not the same." The score remains tied until the last moment, when Biggie spots a rare stamp on the pitch and eagerly bends down just in time to put a winning header into the net. After a failed attempt to carry Biggie off on their shoulders the Mighty Giants follow him back home for a triumphant jazz and peanut-butter-and-banana-sandwich celebration. The message that physical differences are not insuperable obstacles to friendship rests lightly on the plot, and will be readily absorbed by young audiences. (Picture book. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763649128
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 4/27/2010
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 759,886
  • Age range: 4 - 6 Years
  • Lexile: AD500L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.31 (w) x 10.34 (h) x 0.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Bob Kolar is the author-illustrator of several books, including DO YOU WANT TO PLAY? and RACER DOGS. He also illustrated ALPHAOOPS! THE DAY Z WENT FIRSTby Alethea Kontis. Bob Kolar lives in Kansas City, Missouri.

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