Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Children’s Book Review, Great Goal! Marvellous Mark!

Reviewed by Susan Stephenson,

Great Goal! Marvellous Mark! was written by Katrina Germein, illustrated by Janine Dawson, and published by Ford Street Publishing ( 2017.)

This is a great new picture book by the author of Thunderstorm Dancing. It’s a joyous celebration of the fun that is children’s sport, and the game of AFL in particular.

Great Goal! Marvellous Mark! brings a children’s AFL game to life for the reader - we are part of the kids’ excitement and enjoyment, we witness to the dog running onto the field and someone losing his mouthguard in the mud. Germein creates vivid, active word pictures for us, with lots of sport-specific exclamations like Perfect Play! and reinforced by special fonts for words like Squelch! She is ably abetted by Dawson’s detailed, cartoon-style illustrations. These perfectly capture the chaos and the triumph, the struggle and the sheer unmitigated fun of children who love to play team sport.

I admired the way the book includes boys and girls, all sizes and shapes, as well as kids from diverse backgrounds. It was great to see too, that those kids were smiling throughout the book, and so were the parents and supporters, despite the rain! Great Goal! Marvellous Mark! also doubles as a book to reinforce sounds, with each alphabet letter being featured e.g. “Sam takes a speck! What a screamer! He snaps it swiftly.” This can be completely ignored by an adult reading aloud to kids, but adds value for children who perhaps might struggle a little with reading, yet be desperate to read a footy book.

I know Great Goal! Marvellous Mark! will be one of those books that fly off library shelves, and recommend it to both kids who love sport, and kids who want to read about book characters like themselves having fun.

If you’re looking for other books about sport for kids, you might like to read Books for Kids who Love Sport or check out my review of Diary of a Cricket God. Find more Children's Book Reviews on The Book Chook by clicking Reviews in the right sidebar.

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