Friday, December 19, 2008

Pele, King of Soccer/Pele, El Rey del Futbol Monica Brown Rudy Gutierrez

Pele, King of Soccer/Pele, El Rey del Futbol by Monica Brown, illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez, translated by Fernando Gayesky. I released its been awhile since I posted about a sports book when this book stop me in my tracks. This is a beautiful book/ Es libro bonito. I promise I won't do that again . Since this is bilingual picture book I figured one time wouldn't hurt. Brown tells the story of a young Pele who grew up in a small town in Brazil. Pele is the King of Soccer and in Brazil soccer is king. Though Pele's family didn't have much money soccer was still played, when necessary shoeless and with a newspaper stuffed sock as a ball. Gutierrez warm vibrant colors influenced by the Brazilian flag brings this picture book to life. Pele is featured on every page, doing every thing from cleaning shoes, comforting his father and of course scoring goals. I lack the vocabulary to describe how gorgeous this is but I'll give it a go. In one of my favorites Pele is high in the air above the stadium doing a bicycle kick, the opposition leans back in surprise and wonder, the ball is bullseye center of the stadium, with the word Goooooooooooool written on bottom of the page. This is a great introduction to Pele and soccer. In the author notes Brown has more information about Pele including his full name.

Time to Share
Pele and his friends started their own soccer team. When the other teams saw that Pele and his teammates couldn't afford shoes they nicknamed them the "Barefoot Team" But the Barefoot Team kept winning.

Marjorie Coughlan interviews Monica Brown about multicultural literacy - PaperTigers

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