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Picture Book Thursday: Bend It Like Beckham

0763633909.med Big Kicks 

Written and illustrated by Bob Kolar
Candlewick Press
Ages 4-6







9780061227790 Pele, King of Soccer
Written by Monica Brown
Illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez
Harper Collins
Ages 8-12







Davy-soccer-star-small Davy, Soccer Star!
Illustrated by Eve Tharlet
NorthSouth
Ages 3-8



Hey folks. I thought with all of the drama surrounding Beckham and whether or not he'd stay with Galaxy, you could use some down time with some "good for the soccer soul" picture books.

Big Kicks
The bright and colorful end papers features characters in a postage stamp design and become even more fun and relevant as the book unfolds. With illustrations reminiscent of Henry Hikes to Fitchburg, this story follows the Mighty Giants quest to find a player to help them win the big game. With quirky characters like Chicken Rabbit, Twirly Squirrel, and Fluff the Duck, adults and children will enjoy the story. And while it's not quite a back story, I thoroughly enjoyed the antics of Fluff the Duck as they played out in the background.

Pele, King of Soccer
This bilingual picture book traces soccer king Pele's rise to become one of history's greatest players.  Children will easily relate to the text and stories with quotes like, "Pele loved to play soccer with his friends. They didn't have enough money for a ball, so they used a grapefruit instead. If they couldn't find a grapefruit, they would stuff an old sock with newspapers!"

The colorful pictures impart a sense of energy that lends itself nicely to the subject. There's almost an electric buzz to them, that will keep the attention of students.

Davy, Soccer Star!
Oh that Davy, he's one resourceful rabbit. When his homemade soccer ball is ruined beyond repair, he decides to compete against the Big Bad Badgers to win a new ball. With some practice and training his ragtag team of wild rabbits pulls off a big win and brings home the bacon. (Well, ball actually, but you know what I mean.)

As always, Eve Tharlet provides a series of beyond cute creatures in her super illustrations.  Davy fans will not be disappointed.

Activity
Get some warm soapy water and white and black wool. Have students roll the white wool into small soccer balls. When the balls are nearly done, use spots of black to mimic the pattern on a soccer ball. 

For full instructions on felting wool, check out the Crunchy Parent Making a Felted Wool Ball video on YouTube.

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