The Soccer Mom from Outer Space

The Soccer Mom from Outer Space

5.0 2
by Barney Saltzberg

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Is a soccer-crazed mom really an alien from outer space? Find out in this funny picture book--a cautionary tale for soccer moms (and dads!) everywhere.
The night before Lena's first soccer game of the season, her father tells her the amazing story of his own first season playing soccer. Ruben Drinkwater's mom started out like any ordinary parent watching the


Is a soccer-crazed mom really an alien from outer space? Find out in this funny picture book--a cautionary tale for soccer moms (and dads!) everywhere.
The night before Lena's first soccer game of the season, her father tells her the amazing story of his own first season playing soccer. Ruben Drinkwater's mom started out like any ordinary parent watching the Atomic Pickles play. But soon, she began to act very differently--she started to look like a pickle, and she started to roar in a very loud voice when the team was scoring  goals. In fact, she turned into an alien! Ruben spied on her at home, but she seemed to turn into an alien only during soccer games. Finally, he confronted her and asked her to act like all the other parents. That's when they discover how much
Mrs. Drinkwater's cheering had meant to the team--especially to the parents, who took up where her cheerleading left off. Soon the whole team had renewed spirit for the game.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In a starred review, PW called this a "hyperbolic portrait of an uncommonly spirited soccer mom. This soccer sortie scores high in hilarity." Ages 5-8. (June) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
What fun! Meet a mom who can't contain her enthusiasm for her son's soccer team, the Atomic Pickles. Much to her son Reuben's embarrassment, Mrs. Drinkwater attends his games dressed as a giant cheerleading pickle. Naturally, he thinks this bizarre behavior from his normally sedate mother is evidence that she is an alien from outer space. When he finally begs her to stop acting so bizarre, his teammates and coach are disappointed. "The more your mom cheers...the better the team plays!" says the coach. There is a sweet twist to the ending of this book that will have readers and children chuckling. The illustrations are a hoot! 2000, Crown/Random House, Ages 4 to 8, $18.99 and $15.95. Reviewer: Jeanne K. Pettenati
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-This tale begins as a bedtime story told by a father before his daughter's first soccer game. He explains that, when he was a child, his mother embarrassed him at his soccer games by displaying excessive enthusiasm. He describes the time she dressed in a pickle costume to cheer on his team, the Atomic Pickles, finally convincing all of the other moms and dads to follow suit. Lena scoffs at this story until the next day, when her parents and the family dog arrive at her game dressed as Galactic Grapes. The cartoon illustrations are colorful and action-filled, often covering two-page spreads. The exuberant mother, dressed as a pickle and waving green pom-poms, and all of the parents emerging from a green blimp are particularly amusing. Saltzberg subtly offers good values for parents couched in a humorous story for children. While kids are sure to relate to it, it's a particularly good choice for coaches to use for a meeting with new soccer parents before launching into etiquette for enthusiastic audiences.-Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Childrens Book Watch
The soccer mom of this story was an ordinary mother until she attended her son's first match with the Atomic Pickles: there she turned into an alien who became an embarrassment at games. Readers with good reading skills will relish this lively story of a wild mother perhaps too supportive of her son.
—Childrens Book Watch
Kathleen Odean
The night before Lena's first soccer game, her father tells her a story from his childhood, when he played soccer on the Atomic Pickles team. During his first game, his normally well-behaved mother starts screaming "like a human siren." From there, it only gets worse, as the hilarious deadpan pictures reveal. Her pickle hat gives way to an entire pickle costume, all accompanied by constant cheering. The boy begs her to be like all the other parents but comes to regret his request. This wonderful, zany tribute to soccer moms will keep children and their parents laughing from beginning to end.
Kirkus Reviews
Saltzberg (The Flying Garbanzos, not reviewed, etc.) gives parent cheerleaders a boost with this droll tale of a young soccer player and his excitable mom. Starting his first season with the Atomic Pickles, Ruben is horribly embarrassed to see his mother on the sidelines, dressed in a pickle costume and screaming wildly. Oblivious to the positive reception she's getting from his teammates and the other parents, he persuades her at last to lay off—only to hear complaints from every side, and to see the parents, in pickle costumes of their own, float down in a green blimp. Ruben's mom shows not a trace of self-consciousness in the simply drawn cartoon illustrations; the silly outfits will have viewers in stitches. And in a hilarious final twist, it all turns out to be a story told by grownup Ruben to prepare his daughter, looking forward to her first game with a team called the Galactic Grapes, to welcome a suitably attired cheering section of her own. Parents and children both will benefit from this ribtickler. (Picture book. 6-8)

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
7.80(w) x 9.80(h) x 0.20(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Barney Saltzberg is the author-illustrator of numerous children’s books and a professional musician.

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The Soccer Mom from Outer Space 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
We've all seen them, heard them, possibly been them. The mom who yells so loud when Timmy hits a double in Little League that glass shatters a block away. The dad who argues with the referee when innocent little Tina is called for traveling during her elementary school basketball game. It's a known fact that there are parents out there intent on embarrassing their children.

THE SOCCER MOM FROM OUTER SPACE is a father's story to his daughter the night before her first soccer match. The dad recalls the time that HIS mother turned into an alien when he played for the Atomic Pickles: hooting, hollering, and even--oh the horror!, showing up at a match dressed in a giant pickle costume.

Kids and parents will both delight in this humorous, yet true-to-life tale. A word of caution, though. Although THE SOCCER MOM FROM OUTER SPACE has a feel-good ending, I have a feeling most kids would react like my son did, which was by telling me that he'd never talk to me again if I EVER did something like that!
Guest More than 1 year ago
We love this book. We bring it to our soccer games and share it around. My second grader is beginning to be bothered by anything that draws attention--this is a good, light antidote. This is also a good book to bring to school to read to a classroom (k-2).