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Soccer Beat
  • Alternative view 1 of Soccer Beat
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Soccer Beat

by Sandra Gilbert Brug, Elisabeth Moseng (Illustrator)

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On the green two teams are prancing.
Rockets leaping — Cheetahs chancing — Who will win this whirling, twirling, rolling, bouncing soccer game?


On the green two teams are prancing.
Rockets leaping — Cheetahs chancing — Who will win this whirling, twirling, rolling, bouncing soccer game?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Brug debuts with this rhythmic gambol in which two animal teams battle it out on the soccer field. The lively and fast-paced action between the Rockets and the Cheetahs plays out in spare rhyming text woven among Moseng's (Time for a Tale) capering cartoon animals. Lacking punctuation (save for a few exclamation points and one question mark), Brug's quick verse mimics the staccato cadence of a real match. "Kick it/ move it/ zig/ zag/ slide/ Dressed in cleats/ they spin/ and/ glide." Animals ranging from an exotic Malayan Tapir to a sheep (team rosters at the end list the various players) assume gravity-defying angles while wearing sandal-like cleats over hooves and an occasional pair of shin guards. The game is often revealed at ground level through a myriad of stomping and leaping furry legs, though maneuvers also take readers' eyes skyward; a turtle glances nervously upward as an airborne zebra and goat head-butt the ball between them. Given the almost dizzying busyness of each spread, it may take several readings to fully appreciate the on-field antics in the comedic watercolors (a skunk swings from the anteater's nose; the three-toed sloth playing goalie for the Cheetahs hangs from the crossbar). A dynamic ditty. Ages 3-6. (July) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Two animal teams, the Cheetahs and the Rockets, take to the field for an energetic soccer match. The rhyming, bouncy text captures the quick action of the game: "Kick it/move it/zig-zag/slide. Dressed in cleats/they spin/and/glide. . . Turning/trapping/bodies bashing/feet the other way are dashing." Teams are made up of a myriad of animals, including exotic (Malayan Tapir) to common (dog), dressed in numbered shirts, cleats attached over hoofs, and occasional shin guards. Moseng shows the action mostly from ground level, with many views between the legs of the players. Head shots and passes sometimes take the eye away from the frantic action on the field. The animals are always on the move; this is accented by the scattering of the text on the pages. The last page identifies each animal by his jersey number; however the numbers are not always visible on the players. Youngsters will get a "kick" out of this fun book. 2003, Margaret K. McElderry Books/Simon & Schuster, Ages 4 to 7.
— Peg Glisson
School Library Journal
PreS-K-Rhymed couplets describe various animals playing soccer. Readers will enjoy listening to the pulsing beat as the players "Kick it move it/zig-/zag/slide. Dressed in cleats/they spin/and/glide." The plot is thin; the book's strength is in Moseng's bright and colorful watercolor artwork of cartoonlike creatures that are shown from a variety of perspectives. Children can watch the action from beneath the tall giraffe's legs or nose-to-nose with the warthog goalie. Text shows movement and is scattered around the action of the game. The final page names the different animals on both teams; however, they are listed by shirt number, which is often not discernible. If Julie Mammano's Rhinos Who Play Soccer (Chronicle, 2001), Anne Rockwell's Morgan Plays Soccer (HarperCollins, 2001), or Jonathan London's Froggy Plays Soccer (Viking, 1999) flies off the shelves, then supplement your collection with this title.-Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Newcomer Br�g scores points for rhythm and rhyme in this energetic depiction of a soccer match between a bunch of animals. "On the green / two teams are prancing / Rockets leaping / Cheetah's chancing," she begins. In one of Moseng's lively watercolor spreads, a zebra, camel, dog, and duck chase the ball. They sport numbered jerseys; the giraffe even wears shin guards. "Skip it / hop it / pass it / pop it- / toward the net- / Oh, who can stop it?" It's so much fun, readers won't want to. Back matter contains a roster of players by jersey number, so readers can identify the 22 animals pictured in Moseng's full-bleed spreads. Number 1 on the Cheetahs: a three-toed sloth. The Rockets' number 1 is a wild boar, making this a real kick for young soccer players. (Picture book. 3-6)

Product Details

Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
7.90(w) x 10.60(h) x 0.10(d)
Age Range:
3 - 6 Years

Meet the Author

Sandra Gilbert Brüg grew up in Massachusetts and received her B.S. in early childhood development from the University of Massachusetts and her M.A. in human development from Pacific Oaks College in California. For twenty years she was a teacher, director, and advocate in the field of early childhood education and she now works full-time as a poet and children's librarian. She lives with her family in Bozeman, Montana.

Soccer Beat is Sandra's first book, which she was inspired to write while watching the amazing feet of her neighborhood elementary school soccer players.

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