For the Love of Soccer!

Overview

What does the world's greatest soccer player love about the game? The same things as we do! Speed, team work, dribbling, passing, taking your best shot-and making a G-O-O-A-A-A-L!

Pel, three-time World Cup champion, has been the subject of several unauthorized biographies. But here, in his own words, he celebrates the kick and thrill of his favorite sport. Artist Frank Morrison scores an amazing assist with two dynamic visual stories: Pel's inspiring rise to fame, and a young ...

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Overview

What does the world's greatest soccer player love about the game? The same things as we do! Speed, team work, dribbling, passing, taking your best shot-and making a G-O-O-A-A-A-L!

Pel, three-time World Cup champion, has been the subject of several unauthorized biographies. But here, in his own words, he celebrates the kick and thrill of his favorite sport. Artist Frank Morrison scores an amazing assist with two dynamic visual stories: Pel's inspiring rise to fame, and a young athlete's efforts to follow in his hero's speedy footsteps. Together, words and pictures deliver all the fun and excitement of a closely-matched game. World Cup fans, come play!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In a spare narrative enlivened by typography of various sizes and colors, soccer legend Pelé underscores his lifelong passion for soccer, starting in childhood when “I would play with anyone, anytime, anywhere!” As the book moves forward in time, he describes the excitement of playing on a professional team: “The second the starting whistle blasted, every player exploded into action.” Following two time lines simultaneously, Morrison's (The Hat That Wore Clara B.) energetic, fluid paintings spotlight Pelé's soccer moves beside those of a young player today, always appearing on the right side of each spread, whose speed and resolve similarly spring from the page. In the scenes featuring Pelé, the athlete is the sole focus, painted in bright colors against a sepia backdrop. The present-day scenarios are played out against a vibrant urban setting that reveals family members cheering on the players. Though the narrative links the two players throughout, a warmhearted ending ties their stories together visually, as Pelé signs a ball for the boy on the field of a packed stadium. A biographical sketch of Pelé provides a final kick. Ages 3-7. (May)
Publishers Weekly
In a spare narrative enlivened by typography of various sizes and colors, soccer legend Pelé underscores his lifelong passion for soccer, starting in childhood when “I would play with anyone, anytime, anywhere!” As the book moves forward in time, he describes the excitement of playing on a professional team: “The second the starting whistle blasted, every player exploded into action.” Following two time lines simultaneously, Morrison's (The Hat That Wore Clara B.) energetic, fluid paintings spotlight Pelé's soccer moves beside those of a young player today, always appearing on the right side of each spread, whose speed and resolve similarly spring from the page. In the scenes featuring Pelé, the athlete is the sole focus, painted in bright colors against a sepia backdrop. The present-day scenarios are played out against a vibrant urban setting that reveals family members cheering on the players. Though the narrative links the two players throughout, a warmhearted ending ties their stories together visually, as Pelé signs a ball for the boy on the field of a packed stadium. A biographical sketch of Pelé provides a final kick. Ages 3–7. (May)
School Library Journal
Gr 2—In this picture-book autobiography, readers see a young Pelé playing soccer alongside a boy who has the same love and enthusiasm for the sport. Morrison's illustrations are filled with dynamic action shots, showing the boys' legs stretching to incredible angles in order to execute a perfect shot. Readers witness dramatic scenes such as one painted with a soccer ball sailing high in the air against the backdrop of a vast blue sky, as Pelé, now appearing as a teenager, and the young boy look on. A spread near the end shows an adult Pelé autographing the child's soccer ball. The pinnacle of the short text is represented with a vibrant spread showing a ball reaching the net—"GOOAALL!" The book is more general in nature than Lesa Cline-Ransome's Young Pelé: Soccer's First Star (Random, 2007). Only the back notes provide some detailed facts about the athlete's life, his family, and the origins of his nickname leading up to his big break on a professional team and the World Cup. Nonetheless, new soccer fans will welcome this addition.—Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA
Kirkus Reviews
The legendary soccer player composes a stirring ode to his beloved sport. In first-person narration, Pele describes his lifetime passion for the game, which began in childhood. In succinct yet eloquent prose he evokes the essence of soccer, making it accessible to a very young audience. Readers vicariously experience the thrill of a well-played game, culminating in the exhilaration of scoring a goal. Particular emphasis is placed on the value of teamwork and good sportsmanship. Morrison's vibrant, energetic illustrations depict a dual story. Each two-page spread features vignettes from Pele's career on one page (subtly aging their subject over the course of the book), while the facing page reveals a parallel story line of a modern-day child learning to love the game. The vivid pictures, featuring slightly elongated figures and tilted perspectives, convey all the energy of this universal sport. A two-page addendum follows the story, describing the author's life and soccer career. A must-share for soccer enthusiasts of any age. (Picture book. 3-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781423115380
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Publication date: 5/25/2010
  • Pages: 32
  • Product dimensions: 8.84 (w) x 11.26 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

PEL joined his first professional soccer team at age 15, and went on to a dazzling career. He became the top-scorer in the history of the Brazil national team, as well as the first player ever to win three World Cup medals. He also played for the New York Cosmos, and his charisma and grace on the field helped popularize soccer in America. Since his retirement, he has been an ambassador for soccer worldwide. This is his first book for children.

FRANK MORRISON (www.morrisongraphics.com) is the illustrator of Out of the Ballpark by Alex Rodriguez and Queen of the Scene by Queen Latifah, and was awarded a Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent for Jazzy Miz Mozetta by Brenda C. Roberts. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

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