Thursday, January 8, 2015

Shelf Life [kids]

The Hockey SweaterThe Hockey Sweater by Roch Carrier, 48 pages.
@SPL:  J FIC Carri

One of the most beloved Canadian children’s books of all time, The Hockey Sweater, has been newly reprinted to commemorate its 30th anniversary.

The 2014 edition features Roch Carrier’s original autobiographical story, with illustrations by Sheldon Cohen, a number of added comments (written by the author, the illustrator and others such as Ken Dryden and Peter Mansbridge), and a DVD of the filmed version of the tale.

The story is of a young boy and the rest of the boys in a small Quebec village in the 1940’s who are passionate about playing hockey just like their hero, Maurice “Rocket” Richard. They even want to look like him, with the same type of taped hockey stick and the same red, blue and white Montreal Canadiens sweater.

One can imagine the great disappointment of the boy when, needing a new hockey sweater, a mixup occurs and the jersey shipped from Eaton’s is instead that of the Canadians’ arch hockey rival – the Toronto Maple Leafs!

How can he possibly face his friends and play hockey wearing such a sweater?

His mother, however, insists that he must – so clad in the despised sweater, he heads to the neighbourhood rink, where things quickly go from bad to worse.

This classic Canadian story has certainly stood the test of time and is sure to continue as a favourite of children and many adults too.  (An interesting aside: Maurice “Rocket” Richard enjoyed Carrier’s story so much that he gave the author a Canadiens hockey sweater sporting the famous number 9.)

** Recommended for ages 5 years and up.
Published in the Stratford Gazette. Written by Sally Hengeveld, Librarian.

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