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Happy Like Soccer    by Maribeth Boelts & Lauren Castillo order for
Happy Like Soccer
by Maribeth Boelts
Order:  USA  Can
Candlewick, 2012 (2012)
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

There are two things in Sierra's life that the little girl really loves soccer and her auntie. Unfortunately, Sierra is not able to share her love of soccer with her auntie the way she'd like to. Because of her job, the child's aunt has never been able to attend one of her soccer matches.

Then, miraculously, one afternoon Sierra's auntie tells her she will get time off to see her play. Unfortunately, disaster strikes in the form of a bad storm with lightning that forces the game's cancellation.

Knowing that her auntie can't ask for another afternoon off, Sierra racks her brain for some way that her auntie can see her play. Then she comes up with a brilliant idea which she then has to sell to her coach.

Of course I don't intend to share the child's plan or how she convinced her coach to accept it. You'll have to read this picture book to see what happened, but it is rather clever.

What I particularly liked about this picture book was that it focused on a little girl rather than a boy and it also presented a different take on what constitutes a family. So many picture books that involve sports feature a boy and this was a refreshing change. Girls play sports and are very talented athletes too.

Another nice touch is that Sierra is obviously being raised by her auntie. They share an apartment and even a bedroom together. This situation is just subtly worked into the story and the author doesn't make a big deal of it. Maribeth Boelts deserves a nice pat on the back for that, also!

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