David Boucher played a lot of street hockey when he was growing
up. Lucky for us, he remembered his experiences. Even luckier, he
made them the basis of the very lively That's Hockey.
The narrator is spending a weekend at a cousin's farm. It's
going to be two days of hockey. Both kids love the sport. Only it
turns out they have two different games in mind.
Our narrator is quite surprised when Etienne provides old ratty
clothes and a stubby stick. Where are the skates and safety gear?
The game takes place on the bare ground with chunks of snow or rocks
for goal posts. Instead of a puck there's a red ball.
Over the course of the game consternation turns to delight.
Narrator has a wonderful time and is able to keep Etienne's sweater as
The book has a truly wonderful surprise ending.
That's Hockey is a wonderful tribute to the games passed on by
kids to younger siblings and friends...those subversive activities
unsullied by expensive equipment, intrusive coaches, and too many
rules. Whenever I see kids raptly involved, whether it's ghost in the
graveyard or an elaborate clapping game, I cheer inwardly.
On a personal note, schools are now on April vacation. When I met
with the teachers of the Veazie Community School I noticed that the
kids weren't the only ones bubbling over with eager anticipation.
A great big shout out goes out to our teachers and kids enjoying a
week of freedom. Hopefully both groups will be able to enjoy some
unstructured play time!
Sent from my iPod