Have you finished all of your holiday shopping yet?
The good news is there is still some time left. And as I was going through my daughters’ lists of things they’d like to see under the tree, I came across an item that would never have been on my “must-buy” list before this year: hockey books for kids.
My little hockey girl, who will turn seven at the end of this month, is a first grader. Those of you who have parented through the elementary years know that reading is a big deal at this age. And as a mom, I do all I can to instill a love of reading in my girls. My youngest daughter asked for books this year, and she wants some of them to be about hockey.
Awesome! And even better, there are some really fun book choices out there for kids who love this great sport. Here are some that I’ve come across:
Brady Brady Series
by Mary Shaw
This multiple title series is perfect for 4-8 year olds (K-3rd) and each story is filled with bright illustrations and important life lessons as told through the hockey adventures of the title character, Brady. From the book series’ site:
“Brady is crrrazy about sports! So much so, that his parents have to call him twice to get his attention! As a result, he is affectionately nicknamed, Brady Brady.”
There are 12 titles in this series, including Brady Brady and the Great Rink, Brady Brady and the Runaway Goalie and Brady Brady and the Twirlin’ Torpedo (which features a hockey-playing little girl named Tes).
The Anaheim Ducks have read these books several times to the kids at schools they have visited for their Reading is the Goal Day. I think they are fantastic for your beginning readers, even if they don’t play hockey but just love the sport.
On the USA Hockey website, they sell all 12 books with a drawstring bag. Perfect for under the tree, don’t you think?
Z is for Zamboni: A Hockey Alphabet
by Matt Napier
In this book for ages 2 and up, the game of hockey is introduced with each letter of the alphabet, where author Matt Napier weaves in facts about the rules, history, players, teams and coaches.
“A is for arena.
The game is played here,
a building where the fans all gather
to clap and boo and cheer.”
Hat Tricks Count: A Hockey Number Book
by Matt Napier
This is the number companion book to Z is for Zamboni, and shows young readers that numbers are everywhere in the sport of hockey, from the jerseys, to the scoreboard, to stats of the game itself. Designed for ages 6 and up.
The Magic Hockey Stick
by Peter Maloney
Written for ages 5 and up, I like this cute story, specifically because the main character is a girl who plays hockey. And in a crazy turn of events, she ends up with a very special hockey stick. From the book’s description:
“Do you believe in magic? Tracy does. When she starts using Wayne Gretzky’s hockey stick, won by her parents at a charity auction, she suddenly becomes the best player on her hockey team. She hasn’t become a better player overnight-it’s the magic of The Great One’s stick! But while Tracy’s star is on the rise, Wayne’s is steadily dropping. He’s in the greatest slump of his career. Tracy knows that Wayne needs his magic stick back, but she needs it, too. The question is: Who needs it more?”
by Howard Shapiro
This children’s picture book for ages 5-9, is a “heartwarming tale about fathers and sons and how the game of hockey, perhaps like no other, brings them together and teaches them more than just who wins the game or scores the most goals.”
Shapiro was a guest recently on the Hockey This Morning Show on SiriusXM NHL Network Radio and spoke about his passion for hockey. Several years ago as he pursued an interest in writing, he noticed that there weren’t, in his opinion, enough children’s books about the game he loves. So he wrote Hockey Days and a middle grade novel for ages 10-14, Hockey Player for Life (see below).
Hockey Player for Life
by Howard Shapiro
Hockey has always come easy to 13-year old Tom Leonard, but after he is invited to be on an all-star team in Canada, things don’t go exactly as he had planned. Along the way, Tom learns some important life lessons and what it means to be a hockey player for life. An excerpt from the book:
“To be playing the game with my friends on the ice, in a parking lot or in someone’s backyard or basement whether it was in the dead of winter or on a warm summer’s night, it made me feel alive and it gave me the idea that I could do anything if I put my mind to it and worked hard enough. It nourished my soul and fed my brain. I am a hockey player for life.”
These are just a few of the great book choices out there for those kids in your life who play the game of hockey or just love to watch. Check out amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com for more hockey book options you can give as gifts this holiday season.