Professional football stars and twin brothers Tiki and Ronde Barber score with this gentle, inspiring look at defining moments of their childhood, and the early seeds of their athletic careers. Born "smaller than most babies," the Barbers might have faced a difficult time playing sports. But the boys benefited from a secret weapon they didn't even know they had-an ever-supportive mother who encouraged them to work hard and always be there for each other ("Believe in yourself and others will too," she says). When young Tiki suffers a serious leg injury in a bicycle crash, he's devastated. Ronde never flags in keeping his twin's spirits up, however, and before long the two are tossing a baseball, then a football around like nothing had ever happened. Then, on the eve of their Pee Wee League football season, the boys vow to make it to the top, together, "playing in a big stadium... in front of a great big crowd," Super Bowl-big. Sports fans know that their dream came true. The Barbers, with help from Robert Burleigh, give a warm focus to the family foundation they believe is instrumental to their successes and their lives. Without sounding trite, they appealingly deliver the messages of perseverance and sibling solidarity. Root's sunny watercolors, often accented with lush, green trees, capture action on and off the field, conveying the energy of the Barbers' on-the-go childhood and upbeat attitude. Ages 6-10. (Sept.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Gr 1-5-NFL stars Tiki and Ronde Barber present sports fans with a sun-drenched childhood anecdote about perseverance. Although the twins were "born smaller than most babies," they grew up to be a rowdy pair. The boys never left one another's side until the summer when Tiki took a bad spill from his bike and broke his leg, forcing him to miss the entire baseball season. The narrative follows the siblings' agony during their summer-long separation and their eventual joy at being teammates again. Despite its lengthy, lackluster text and a somewhat anticlimactic ending, the authors' role-model status will attract an audience, and Root's soft, watercolor-and-gouache illustrations will capture readers' imaginations. Vibrant oranges and yellows suffuse the pages, creating a sense of nostalgia. Similar to Deloris and Roslyn M. Jordan's Salt in His Shoes: Michael Jordan in Pursuit of a Dream (S & S, 2000), the Barbers' tale will be a popular addition to sports collections.-Ann M. Holcomb, Los Angeles Public Library Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
The Barber twins not only play professional football for the NFL, they're also both great enough to be stars. But once upon a time they were just brothers growing up with the typical scrapes and bruises that come with playing hard. In Tiki's case, there was a more serious injury when he tumbled over the handlebars of his bike, severely damaging his leg. The doctor said he might not play sports again. Twins always have a special bond, but this real-life story shows how Ronde helped Tiki through his trial and back to the football field. Heeding mom's stick-to-it, work-hard advice, they keep at it and begin to dream of the Super Bowl, in which they both go on to play. Root's sunny illustrations are a bit tame for such rambunctious kids, but the story will inspire those peewee football players out there who are recuperating from their own breaks, sprains, and aches. Every pediatric orthopedist in America should keep this book in their waiting room. A great gift for brothers, too. (Picture book. 5-8)